Swim England Performance Squad swimmers take on stars at BUCS Champs

Members of the Swim England Performance Squad will compete against some of Great Britain’s Olympic hopefuls at the British Universities & Colleges Sport (BUCS) Long Course Championships.

The annual meet returns to Sheffield’s Ponds Forge from 14-16 February, with 72 universities set to be represented.

Performance Squad swimmers Jacob Greenow (University of Bath), Amy Bell (Sheffield Hallam University) plus Emily Barclay, Maisie Macartney and James McFadzen (all Loughborough University) will be in action.

Barclay will defend her 50m Freestyle title, which was one of three medals she won at the 2019 championships.

McFadzen and Greenow will battle with Olympic finalist Max Litchfield for a podium place in the 200m Individual Medley, while Greenow will also take on Litchfield and Duncan Scott in the 400m IM.

Grant Robins, Swim England’s head of talent for swimming, said: “The competition will be valuable for two reasons.

“Firstly, it allows swimmers to race for their university, which is a rare opportunity but a vital one at this stage of the season.

“It’s important to gauge how the winter training is going mid-cycle and allows them to give something back to the university which supports them with their studies and lifestyle.

“Secondly, with the British Championships looming, they can use the event to gauge their positioning, technique, race strategies and fitness in a highly competitive, but relaxed atmosphere.”

World class field

Some of Britain’s stars will use the meet to continue their preparations for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Luke Greenbank will compete in the 50m, 100m and 200m Backstroke, having won the two longer distance races last year.

The Loughborough University swimmer enjoyed a breakout season in 2019, winning two medals at the World Championships in Gwangju.

Greenbank is one of 30 swimmers competing for defending BUCS league champions Loughborough.

Grant said: “This is an exciting event, where competition is fierce but fun!

“Emerging universities are positioning themselves against the big two – Loughborough University and the University of Stirling – and will see this as an opportunity to show progress in the BUCS league and their overall swimming programme.

Swim England’s six Performance Centres will be fighting it out as this could also be seen as an event to attract future students who are looking to extend and combine their swimming careers.”

James Wilby, the Commonwealth champion in the 200m Breaststroke, will swim as a guest, defending his 100m and 200m titles.

Wilby broke the competition records in both events in 2019 and will hope to build some long course form ahead of his potential Olympic debut in Tokyo.

Paralympic champions Stephanie Millward and Jessica-Jane Applegate have entered as guests, as have para-swimmers Stephen Clegg, Suzanna Hext and Tully Kearney.

World Junior Championships medallist Michaella Glenister is set to compete in the 800m Freestyle, while Swim England National Winter Championships gold medallists Emily Crane (Loughborough University), Sam Irvine (Loughborough University), Jay Lelliott (Sheffield Hallam) and Jocelyn Ulyett (guest) are also on the entry list.

Olympic silver medallist Siobhan-Marie O’Connor and Commonwealth silver medallist Molly Renshaw are among the other notable names heading to Ponds Forge.

Swim England Performance Squad swimmers at BUCS Long Course Championships 2019

Jacob Greenow (University of Bath)

  • 200m Butterfly
  • 200m Individual Medley
  • 400m Individual Medley

Emily Barclay (Loughborough University)

  • 50m Freestyle
  • 50m Butterfly

Maisie Macartney (Loughborough University)

  • 200m Butterfly
  • 1500m Freestyle

James McFadzen (Loughborough University)

  • 200m Breaststroke
  • 200m Individual Medley

Amy Bell (Sheffield Hallam University)

  • 100m Butterfly
  • 200m Individual Medley
  • 400m Individual Medley