Overall win for EUOC at BUCS Orienteering Champs 2018

The rescheduled British Universities & Colleges Sport (BUCS) Orienteering Championships were held over 28-29th April in Oxford. Originally scheduled for the first weekend in March, the snow put a stop to students from Edinburgh, Heriot Watt, Edinburgh Napier, Glasgow, Strathclyde and Aberdeen competing.

Most had not yet begun their journeys, but Aberdeen were already on their plane when it was announced as cancelled and so enjoyed a weekend down south regardless! Unfortunately, the new date was very close to exam and deadline time for the Scottish universities and so it was only a much reduced (50 down to 15) EUOC team who headed down to the competition.

The relay was first up at Shotover Country Park on Saturday with fast racing round the spurs and valleys. It was very easy to lose time in places, and lots of people did, making for an exciting race.

Loughborough University won the Men’s Relay for the first time ever, Scottish athlete Freddie Carcas (INT) was on first leg for the team. ‘EUOC Legends’ Jack Leitch, Eddie Narbett and Tam Wilson took second place and James Ackland (INT) took the bronze with his university club, Cambridge. In the women the ‘EUOC Legendesses’ Lucy Haines, Lindsay Robertson and Sarah Jones were victorious once again.

The Individual was held on Sunday at Bradenham Woods. Scott Collier had planned courses to make the best out of the area, with some fiendish gaffling (in the form of Phi loops) removing the likelihood of ‘trains’ of runners forming.

In the Men A class Jonny Crickmore was 1st for Heriot Watt University, with Tim Morgan top Edinburgh Uni runner in 4th place and Jack Leitch (6th) and Tam Wilson (9th) also making the top 10. In Women A, Sarah Jones was top for the Scottish athletes/clubs with 4th place (the race was won by Welsh GB international Megan Carter Davies). Lucy Haines (10th) and Lindsay Robertson (12th) also produced some great results for Edinburgh. Edinburgh also had success in the B and C classes for those wanting a shorter course or who are newer to orienteering – Michael Stanwix and Alexandra Boloux were 2nd in Men and Women B respectively and Naoya Itatsu was 1st in Men C, more fantastic results!

All of these results, and those of the others in the team, led to Edinburgh University winning the championships overall once again, making the journey down more than worth it! Cambridge University took 2nd place and Oxford and Loughborough tied for 3rd. Sarah Jones said she was “Glad to bring Fergus home again” (Fergus is the stag trophy awarded to the winner between the top university and the combined services team).

Next year the competition is much closer to home, being hosted by Edinburgh University, and we look forward to welcoming university teams from across the UK to Scotland. Thanks to Oxford University, and all who assisted, for their organisation of the competition.