Loughborough Alumni


Jake Wightman

10 Jan 2019

Alumni ahead of the pack in UK Merit Rankings

13 sporting alumni have been named in the 2018 UK Merit Rankings, which assess athletes’ form and achievements over the past year.

Compiled by Peter Matthews of the National Union of Athletics Statisticians, the 51st Merit List reveals the top 12 athletes in the UK in all Olympic athletics events.

Jake Wightman (Retailing, Marketing and Management 2016, pictured) sits top of both the 800m and 1,500m tables, with Chris Thompson (Sport and Exercise Science 2004) coming second in both the 5,000m and 10,000m.

Sonia Samuels (Modern European Studies 2001) leads the women’s tables, coming third in the Marathon list.

She is one of four alumnae to feature, with four current students also appearing in the tables, bringing the total number of Loughborough athletes to 17.

Commenting on the achievements of both alumni and students in 2018, Loughborough’s Lead Endurance Coach and Hall of Fame member George Gandy said:

"It’s great to see the strong cohort of Loughborough graduates and undergraduates in the recently published UK ‘top 12’ Merit Rankings at respective Olympic-distance endurance events (800m to marathon).

"These rankings are based upon overall performance achievement in 2018, and clearly show that our celebrated impact on the national middle and long-distance running scene is very much alive and well."

The full list of athletes who feature can be seen below:


Sonia Samuels (Modern European Studies 2001) – 3rd at Marathon

Stevie Stockton (Sport and Exercise Science, 2012) – 6th at 10,000m and 10th at 5,000m

Emily Smith (Physics with Sports Science 2018) – 9th at 3,000m Steeplechase

Beth Potter (Physics 2013) – 12th at 10,000m


Jake Wightman (Retailing, Marketing and Management 2016) – 1st at 800m and 1,500m

Chris Thompson (Sport and Exercise Science 2004) – 2nd at 5,000m and 10,000m

Guy Learmonth (Sports Science with Sports Management 2012, Applied Sports Science 2014) – 5th at 800m

James West (International Economics 2017) – 6th at 1,500m

Jamie Webb (Pharmaceutical Science and Medicinal Chemistry 2018) – 7th at 800m

Kris Jones (Sports Biomechanics 2015) – 10th at 5,000m

Henry Pearce (Management Sciences 2016) – 11th at Marathon

Chris Perry (International Business 2012) – 12th at 3,000m Steeplechase

Kevin Seaward (PGCE 2009) – 12th equal at Marathon

Congratulations to all alumni and current students on their success.



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