Duo win silver medals at BUCS Championship

Jenny Walsh, leading a group in a previous race, won silver at the BUCS National Indoor Championships in Sheffield last weekend.
Jenny Walsh, leading a group in a previous race, won silver at the BUCS National Indoor Championships in Sheffield last weekend.

Swimmer Matthew Johnson and middle distance runner Jenny Walsh both won silver medals at the BUCS National Championships in Sheffield last weekend.

Johnson won a silver medal in the 400 metres individual medley and added bronze in the 200m butterfly having switched from longer distances to shorter swims.

The former Spen Valley Sports College student admitted all the hard work was starting to pay off after his double medal haul.

Johnson, who now studies at the University of Bath, headed to Ponds Forge to take part in the UK’s largest annual multi-sport student event for the second time.

The 19-year-old, who was also fourth in the men’s 200m individual, said: “I’m really pleased with second, last year was my first BUCS Nationals and it wasn’t a great year for me.

“This is my second BUCS, after last year I need to concentrate on long-term goals rather than short-term so this year it’s paying off.

“I made a transition from being a long distance swimmer to a mid-distance program. I knew I might need to take a year out to make that transition.

“I’m happiest about my breaststroke, usually I see them pulling away but this time I saw myself keeping up and even pulling towards the leader.

“So for me that’s a big bonus and it’s where I need to be at this time of the season.

“This part of the season is where you feel the fatigue kick in down that last 200m so you just keep going, keep going and then you get a bit of a rest.”

Former Spen AC runner Walsh also produced an impressive display at the English Institute of Sport.

The Durham University student picked up silver in the 3,000 metres in a time of 9.35.97, behind clear winner Elinor Kirk.

Birthday girl Walsh said: “I’m delighted to come away with second place on my 22nd birthday, it was what I was expecting so it’s a good platform.

“I believe in my last lap, I know I’ve always got a bit to give in my final 200m and I knew I was just fighting for silver.

“I was way off the pace, I just wanted to make sure that I held on to silver.

“It’s a tough race, running on your own the whole way is hard, you’re in no man’s land but I’m relatively pleased.

“I haven’t planned anything after this. That was my first ever indoor race so I’ll probably now get some training and go into the track season feeling fresh.”

British Universities & Colleges Sport (BUCS) is the governing body for Higher Education sport in the UK, representing 170 institutions and facilitating 52 sport programmes. BUCS has been shortlisted for Governing Body of the Year at the BT Sports Industry Awards 2015 and is supported by Deloitte www.bucs.org.uk.