The fourth LUCA Outdoor Series gets underway this Sunday at Parliament Hill.
Reigning champions, UCL will claim home advantage as they attempt an assault on an unprecedented third consecutive series title. The club has every right to feel confident after securing a double indoor championship victory in November and finishing first and second in the Men’s and Women’s LUCA XC league respectively.
On returning to the venue where they beat King’s in a convincing varsity performance last month, UCL president Henry Murdoch said “UCL are undefeated at athletics over the past three years – LUCA Indoors and Outdoors, UL Indoors and Outdoors and Varsity vs KCL. We’ve been through a hard winter training and now gunning to defend our titles in style.”
However, strong teams from LSE, King’s and Imperial will make that task a hard one.
Imperial, the club with the most members in LUCA, will be looking to cause a stir. Imperial President Alex Mundell is leading from the front with six event entries. She said “With record numbers entering from Imperial, we are hoping to cause a stir at the LUCA series this summer.”
With 36 athletes, the largest team at the series opener is King’s. Winners of the inaugural season in 2015, King’s will be hoping to get one over their varsity rivals. King’s President Harry Browning said, “We are raring to go for a massive outdoors season ahead. All of our athletes have been training hard, and are excited to compete in the 2018 LUCA Outdoor Series and show London what they’re made of. Going into the first meet at Parliament Hill, UCL’s home track, with the biggest team has given us the confidence that we can start this season off with a bang, and potentially, an early lead.”
One hundred and twelve competitors have registered for the Parliament Hill meet with 216 event entries between them. The rescheduling of the meet has seen a decrease in entries but the competition will still be fierce. The second meet is at Lee Valley on the 28th April and the final is at Battersea on the 26th May, one day before the LUCA AGM and Awards.
How does the series work?
There are two types of event – series events and special events. Special events are held just once across the series with the top three athletes receiving medals on the day. Series events are repeated at each of the three meets. Athletes earn points and the winner is the athlete with the most points at the end of the series. Points are awarded to the top 6 athletes (7, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1). These points also contribute the club’s total – but only two athletes per club score for the team. Athletes in special events are also awarded points for their club. The club with the most points at the end of the final meet at Battersea on the 26th May will win the series championship.
What about the University of London Outdoor Championships?
These are held at Battersea on the 26th May, embedded within the final meet of the series. Athletes at UofL colleges are awarded separate points for the UofL championships. There are no individual medals for this. The club with the most UofL points wins the championship.
Event information is here.