The University of Sydney (USYD) has confirmed their position as one of Australia’s most successful athletic universities, claiming both the men’s and women’s overall titles at the UniSport Nationals Athletics meet over the weekend.
From 11-14 April, 280 students representing 31 universities across Australia took to Sydney Olympic Park Athletic Centre vying for both individual success and the overall university champion awards.
On night one, USYD’s Genevieve Cowie (Bachelor of Science) ran 58.47s in the women’s 400m hurdles, taking nearly two seconds off the previous record with USYD’s Matthew Fisher (Bachelor of Engineering) beating Deakin University’s Harrison Roubin (Bachelor of Law) by one tenth of a second in the men’s event.
On Friday, USYD student and Australian UniRoo Nicola McDermott (Bachelor of Science) equalled her meet record of 1.85m in the women’s high jump, taking out another gold for the champion university.
The action continued Saturday with Olympian and USYD star Michelle Jenneke (Bachelor of Mechatronic Engineering) beating a strong field in the women’s 100m hurdles, clinching the meet record (13.28) and another gold medal.
Jenneke competed in nine events over the championship, also winning gold in the 100m, 200m, 4x100 and medley relay events.
Elsewhere, the pole vault events, both the men’s (Triston Vincent (Bachelor of Exercise Physiology), Queensland University of Technology) and women’s (Anastasia Williams, (Bachelor of Science) UNSW Sydney) winners attempted meet records but settled for gold with clearances of 4.80m and 3.80m respectively.
In the men’s 100m, Macquarie University’s (MQU) Nick Andrews (Bachelor of Business) took out the final in 10.66, which is statistically very close to the hand time of the meet record set in 1966 by Gary Eddy and equalled in 1968 by Phillip King.
Andrew’s MQU teammate, Cameron McEntyre threw an impressive 74.70m to claim the javelin gold whilst La Trobe University student Nicholas Dyson (Bachelor of Commerce/Law) was too strong against the rest of the discus field, bettering his Athletics Australia National Championship performance of a week prior, with a distance of 53.11m.
Competition wrapped up on Sunday with University of Georgia (United States of America) alumni and current Griffith University student, Aliyah Johnson (Bachelor of Business) taking two centimetres off the previous women’s triple jump record which had been standing since 1997 with a jump of 12.87m.
There were also some impressive para-athlete performances with both Lillee Wakefield (Bachelor of Arts) T/F20 (University of South Australia) and Madelene McNeil (Bachelor of Arts) T/F13 (Flinders University) taking home medals for their efforts in throws and sprints respectively.
The Australian university athletics scene is at an all-time high. At last week’s Athletics Australia National Championships, the top three clubs were all university-based clubs with Sydney University Athletics Club taking out the club championship. 51 student-athletes backed up at the UniSport Nationals Athletics, which helped UYSD secure two pennants towards the 2019 UniSport Overall Champion tally.
The final results from the championship can be viewed at unisport.com.au/athletics-div1.
The UniSport Nationals continue next month in May, returning to Sydney for the Nationals Swimming championships which will be held in conjunction with Swimming New South Wales’ Sydney Open meet from 10-12 May.