Star-Filled Field Scheduled to Compete At British Universities and Colleges Champs (BUCS)

Daniel Wiffen

Star-Filled Field Scheduled to Compete At British Universities and Colleges Champs (BUCS)

The 2023 British Universities and Colleges (BUCS) Long Course Swimming Championships are set to take place from February 24-26. The championships will take place at the Ponds Forge International Sports Centre in Sheffield and will see Britain’s best student-athletes represent their universities.

Loughborough has traditionally dominated the overall team standings, registering an undefeated mark at BUCS for more than 40 years. They have the fastest seeds in numerous events, and barring a major upset, other universities are unlikely to match their firepower. The battle for minor placings should, however, be a much closer contest, as Edinburgh, Bath, Swansea and Stirling will all be looking to outscore one another. 

Meet Entries

Despite the depth of BUCS being limited compared to the NCAAs in America, there will be plenty of fascinating battles to watch over the course of the weekend. In the distance freestyle events, Irish Olympian Daniel Wiffen will go toe-to-toe with Loughborough teammate Tobias Robinson. Wiffen had a stellar 2022 season, becoming a Commonwealth medalist and a European record holder, and BUCS represents a good opportunity to post some fast in-season times.

The sprint breaststroke events look set to be some of the most competitive races of the meet. In the 50 and 100 breast on the women’s side, Loughborough’s Swedish Olympian Sophie Hansson will be up against teammate Tatiana Belonogoff. They will face stiff competition from Edinburgh’s Kara Hanlon and Katie Goodburn. Hanlon, the reigning champion in both the 50 and 100 from the last long course championships, had a breakout year in 2022, breaking the Scottish record in the 100 breaststroke. She went on to represent Scotland at the Commonwealth Games and Great Britain at the European Championships. 

In both the men’s 50 and 100 breaststroke, Commonwealth athletes Greg Butler (England and Loughborough) and Archie Goodburn (Scotland and Edinburgh) are the top seeds, both entered in 27.6. In the 50, they are closely followed by the Cypriot duo of Marcos Iakovidis (Bath) and Panayiotis Panaretos (Swansea). 

Loughborough’s Greek Olympian and NC State alum, Andreas Vazaios, will compete in all three butterfly events. Vazaios goes in as the top seed in the 100 and 200 fly. He will face testing competition in the 50 fly as two Commonwealth athletes are seeded ahead of him. Welsh record holder Lewis Fraser (Swansea) is the fastest entry, closely followed by Edinburgh’s Scottish record holder Gregor Swinney and Welsh Commonwealth athlete, Tom Carswell. Bath’s Josh Gammon is also likely to challenge for the podium in all three fly events. 

Loughbrough’s American Olympic medalist Catie DeLoof is entered in the 50 and 100 freestyle, and 50 backstroke. In the sprint freestyle events, she will be challenged by teammate and Polish sprinter Kornelia Fiedkiewicz, as Evie Davis of Stirling will look to break up the Loughborough party. In the men’s sprint freestyle events, Loughborough’s Alex Cohoon will go in as the favorite. Cohoon will look to defend his 2022 100 freestyle title and go one better in the 50 meter event. 

The men’s 50 backstroke will be hotly contested. Loughborough’s Conor Ferguson is the quickest entry on a 24.8. There are five swimmers who are all entered on times in the 25.2-25.4 range. Stirling’s Jamie Robertson, Bath’s Jonathon Adam, Edinburgh’s Scott Gibson, Swansea’s Joe Small and Birmingham’s Oliver Morgan will all look to upset Ferguson in the final. 

Other Swimmers Watch:

Evan Jones – Entered in the 200 freestyle and IM, and 400 freestyle. Jones goes in as the quickest seed for the 200 free and IM. He will also play a key part in Stirling’s relays. 

Paige Madden – Loughborough’s American Olympic medalist will race in the 200 and 400 freestyle and is also entered in the 100 fly. Madden is the fastest entry in the middle distance freestyle events and will look to secure all important points for her team. 

Katie Shanahan – The European and Commonwealth medalist is the top seed in the 200 and 400 IM and 200 back. The ex City of Glasgow swimmer moved to train and study at the University of Stirling in 2022 and will be looking to build on a very successful 2022 season. 

Felix Auboeck – The Austrian Olympic finalist and world short course champion is entered in his main event, the 400 freestyle, and the 100 freestyle. 

Duncan Scott – The six-time Olympic medalist will open up his long course season in Sheffield. He is set to race in the 200 free and fly, as well as the 400 IM. Scott will only be able to race in the heats as a guest, however, as he has finished studying. As a result, he cannot score points for the University of Stirling. 

Notify of

Welcome to our community. We invite you to join our discussion. Our community guidelines are simple: be respectful and constructive, keep on topic, and support your fellow commenters. Commenting signifies that you agree to our Terms of Use

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x