On Saturday 18th February, the British Universities and Colleges Sport Nationals - or 'BUCS Nationals' - took place at the Climbing Works in Sheffield. The competition attracts the best student boulderers from around the country to compete for a national title in both the individual and team events.
In the women's category, GB team members Jen Wood (University of Sheffield) and Tara Hayes (Sheffield Hallam) looked set to take the win, with strong Slovenian climber Ajda Remškar (University of Edinburgh) also in contention. Jen qualified for the final in 1st place by one point ahead of Tara, closely followed by Ajda. In the final round, Ajda managed to improve upon her qualifying position to take 2nd place - 'One step closer to that top spot!' - after her third place finish last year.
In an interview with BUCS Sport, Jen commented: 'I'm very happy to win in my last year of Uni after 4 years of doing the competition. I've been second every year until now!' Last year, Jen placed 4th overall in the World University Championships.
The women's University of Sheffield team also took the top spot in the team championship standings.
In the men's event, GB team member Billy Ridal (Sheffield Hallam) qualified with a significant margin ahead of Hamish Potokar (University of Glasgow) and Eoin Acton (University of Glasgow), with Connor Byrne (University of Sheffield) qualifying in 4th place. In the finals, Billy defended his BUCS title from last year and climbed to victory. Connor managed to pip Eoin to 3rd place, helping the University of Sheffield to earn the men's team championship title alongside the women's team title.
BUCS Climbing Championships 2016-17 Results
Men's Individual Final Climb Off
1. Billy Ridal, Sheffield Hallam University
2. Hamish Potokar, University of Glasgow
3. Connor Byrne, University of Sheffield
4. Eoin Action, University of Glasgow
Women's Individual Final Climb Off
1. Jen Wood, University of Sheffield
2. Ajda Remškar, University of Edinburgh
3. Tara Hayes, Sheffield Hallam University
4. Natasha Allcock, University of Worcester
Men's Team Championship
1. University of Sheffield - Jez Auditore, Joe Swales, Connor Byrne
2. Sheffield Hallam - Billy Ridal, Jaime Rankin, Sam Lawson
3. University of Glasgow - Adam Visick, Hamish Potokar, Eoin Acton
Women's Team Championship
1. University of Sheffield - Lucy Bradbury, Katie Maxwell, Jennifer Wood
2. Sheffield Hallam - Sarah Pashley, Arona Morrison, Tara Hayes
3. University of Edinburgh - Gemma Robertson, Ajda Remškar, Clara Vergez