With the season starting in 1st week, the swimmers of OUSC underwent an intensive training programme in preparation for the BUCS teams southern regional qualifying round, taking to the impressive Lief Rosenblatt Pool – an eight-lane 25m pool with a moveable floor – at Iffley Road Sports Complex.
University College undergraduate and OUSC Men’s Captain Kouji Urata was keen to show that training extends beyond the pool.
“There are eight training sessions available in total every week, and some of us even go to the gym twice a week as well”. The energy- sapping training regime seems to have paid dividends as OUSC came third in the southern regional qualifying round, which means that they progress to the BUCS Teams Final.
The team’s achievement was made all the more impressive by the fact that they were missing a number of first-team swimmers, which meant that they couldn’t afford to rest anyone for the meet, while they also beat arch-rivals Cambridge – who finished a place below Oxford in the standings – on their way to qualification.
The swimmers who did compete included James Jurkiewicz, who qualified for Guernse for the 2014 Commonwealth Games, Tommy Lees, winner of the Sportsman of the Year award at the Sports Federation Ball, and Sophia Saller, the Triathlon Club captain who was also rewarded for her performances at the Ball with a place in the Team of the Year.
As well as the Teams Final, OUSC also have the Varsity match against Cambridge to look forward to in February of next year, and will be hoping that the likes of Jurkiewicz, Lees and Saller are on hand to make sure that Oxford’s 2013/2014 season is a successful one. A BUCS short course meet is also scheduled to take place in Sheffield at the end of 8th week.
Closer to home, Saturday of 3rd week saw the annual Swimming Cuppers competition taking place at Iffley Road. With an excellent turn-out by the participating colleges and fervent student support at poolside, Magdalen emerged as the victors in one of the most tightly-contested Swimming Cuppers events in recent years, edging past New College’s 103 points to win by a score of 109.