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Back-to-back wins for Bond University at the UniSport Nationals Swimming x Sydney Open

Updated: May 14

For Release: 13 May


Bond University (BOND) have gone back-to-back-to-back to claim overall champion university in the Men’s competition. BOND have also taken back the Women’s title from The University of Queensland (UQ) after a narrow loss in 2023. Both titles have earned BOND overall champion university, for the third year in a row, at the 2024 UniSport Nationals Swimming championship.


Bond University UniSport Nationals Swim Team

Held with the Sydney Open Championship, the UniSport Nationals Swimming championship was hosted at Sydney Olympic Park Aquatic Centre (SOPAC) from 9 – 11 May and saw over 230 students from 20 universities participate in a thrilling competition. SOPAC was strewn in multiple hues of blue and red with large representations from The University of Queensland (UQ), University of Technology Sydney (UTS), and Bond University (BOND).

 

“The performances that we witnessed at our Swimming Nationals in 2024 were nothing short of astounding.” said UniSport Australia CEO Mark Sinderberry.

 

“Our student-athletes have incredible dedication. Swimming is a sport that Australia is known for on the international stage, but it's the dedication, commitment, and comradery at competitive events like this that help lay the foundations for student-athletes to achieve their goals both in and out of the pool.”

 

“The event was a showcase of sportsmanship and performance and I’m incredibly proud of how university sport continues to enrich the lives of students.” Mr Sinderberry said.

 

BOND were off to a ripper start with Flynn Southam (BOND) earning gold for the ‘Bull Sharks’ in the Men’s 800m Freestyle and 50m Freestyle event. The tie-dye dubbed university, UTS, also had a great start to their medal winning campaign as Stuart Swinburn (UTS) and Se-Bom Lee (UTS) claimed top spots on the podium in the Men’s 200m Backstroke. Shaun Champion (UTS) looked pretty fly in the water as he surged home to break his own UniSport record and win another gold medal for UTS. The multi-class student-athletes were phenomenal in the water, with five UniSport multi-class records broken. Elizabeth Dekkers (UQ) looked in fine form as she cruised home, two seconds ahead of her field, breaking her own UniSport record, set the year prior. A thriller performance by the ‘Bull Sharks’ led to dual wins in the Men’s and Women’s 4x50m Medley Relays, ending night one on a high for the former champion university.


UniSport Nationals Swimming records set and broken on Day 1:

  • Women's 200m Freestyle S3; Rachael Watson, The University of Queensland; 3:52.54

  • Women's 200m Freestyle S10; Michelle Fawer, University of Wollongong; 2:26.64

  • Women's 200m Freestyle S19; Iesha Apthorpe, Charles Sturt University; 2:20.52

  • Women's 100m Butterfly S9; Emily Beecroft, University of the Sunshine Coast; 1:09.58

  • Women's 100m Butterfly S19; Emily Beecroft, Charles Sturt University; 1:10.69

  • Women's 200m Butterfly; Elizabeth Dekkers, The University of Queensland; 2:06.47

  • Men's 100m Butterfly S9; Timothy Hodge, Western Sydney University; 1:00.89

  • Men's 100m Butterfly; Shaun Champion, University of Technology Sydney; 51.99

  • Men's 100m Breaststroke; Zac Stubblety-Cook, Griffith University; 1:00.21

  • Men's 4x50m Medley Relay; F McLachlan, J Collett, B Armbruster, F Southam; Bond University; 1:39.54


Queensland University of Technology multi-class athelte Lewis Bishop

Day two of the meet was just as spectacular as the first with eight new UniSport records. Southam (BOND) continued his hunt for gold securing the top spot in the Men’s 100m Freestyle and the Men’s 4x50m Freestyle Relay as the anchor leg. Alongside teammates Ben Armbruster, Josh Collett and Jesse Coleman, the team broke their own UniSport record set the year prior. Iesha Apthorpe from Charles Sturt University (CSU) touched in at 28.56 to claim silver in the Women’s 50m Freestyle multi-class and breaking a UniSport record for the S15 classification. Emily Beecroft from the University of the Sunshine Coast (UniSC) surged home in a time of 29.51 to take gold and the UniSport record for the S9 classification. Timothy Hodge, Western Sydney University (WS), struck gold once again clocking in at 1:13.12 in the Men’s 100m Breaststroke SB19 crushing his own UniSport record set in 2021 by four seconds!  


UniSport Nationals Swimming records set and broken on Day 2:

  • Women's 50m Freestyle S9; Emily Beecroft, University of the Sunshine Coast; 29.51

  • Women's 50m Freestyle S15; Iesha Apthorpe, Charles Sturt University; 28.56

  • Women's 200m Freestyle; Rebecca Jacobson, Queensland University of Technology; 1:59.55

  • Women's 100m Breaststroke SB19; Iesha Apthorpe, Charles Sturt University; 1:35.60

  • Men's 100m Freestyle; Flynn Southam, Bond University; 48.97

  • Men's 100m Breaststroke SB8; Timothy Hodge, Western Sydney University; 1:13.12

  • Women's 4x50m Freestyle Relay; M O'Leary, H Casey, M Condren, E Doherty; Bond University; 1:43.35

  • Men's 4x50m Freestyle Relay; B Armbruster, J Collett, J Coleman, F Southam; Bond University; 1:30.57


Swimming NSW Chief Commercial and Marketing Officer, James Hickman said:

“The incorporation of the UniSport Championships into the Swimming NSW Sydney Open represents a fruitful partnership benefiting all involved. This year's 2024 event delivered widespread enjoyment, with the revamped format enabling University athletes the chance to compete against world-class Australian and international swimmers and elevating their performances. Looking ahead, we hope to build on this strong foundation, to amplify the scale and impact of the event in the years to come.”


The University of Queensland multi-class athlete Lakeisha Patterson

By night three, the race for the Women’s pennant was led by BOND and followed very closely by the Queensland University of Technology (QUT). While in the Men’s, the Bull Sharks had extended their lead significantly leaving UTS and UQ to battle it out for second place. Beecroft (UniSC) struck gold once again in the Women’s 100m Freestyle Multi-Class, finishing two seconds ahead of former champion, Lakeisha ‘Lucky’ Patterson (UQ), to earn a UniSport National record in the S9 classification. Olympian and Griffith University student Zac Stubblety-Cook was unstoppable in the Men’s 200m Breaststroke, touching the wall miles ahead of the field. A thrilling performance from BOND in the Women’s 4x100m Freestyle Relay cemented them as Women’s overall champions ahead of QUT by 61 points. The UTS men put on an electrifying race from the outside lane in the Men’s 4x100m Freestyle Relay however, touched just short of the Bull Sharks, claiming silver. They say ‘diamonds are made under pressure’ and it was the case with pressure of the UTS men pushed the Bull Sharks to take gold and break their own UniSport record from the previous year.



“We are very impressed by the teamwork and the incredible performances that our student-athletes have put into racing at this event. The men put on an unbelievable performance to bring home the title and special mentions should also be made to our female team. We had six female student-athletes with about six events with no Bond representation and yet to have taken the top spot in every relay and every other event is unbelievable. Credit must be given to the team with standout athletes being Mia O’Leary, Hannah Casey and Tilly King,” said Bond University Swimming Head Coach Chris Mooney.

 

Mooney also thanked the commitment and support that Bond University has towards its student-athletes and remarked about the attractiveness of a program with full university support.  


UniSport Nationals Swimming records set and broken on Day 3:

  • Women's 100m Freestyle S3; Rachael Watson, The University of Queensland; 2:11.97

  • Women's 100m Freestyle S9; Emily Beecroft, University of the Sunshine Coast; 1:04.96

  • Women's 100m Freestyle S19; Iesha Apthorpe, Charles Sturt University; 1:02.70

  • Women's 100m Backstroke S10; Michelle Fawer, University of Wollongong; 1:17.47

  • Women's 100m Backstroke S19; Iesha Apthorpe, Charles Sturt University; 1:16.89

  • Women's 200m Individual Medley SM19; Iesha Apthorpe, Charles Sturt University; 2:48.76

  • Men's 200m Breaststroke; Zac Stubblety-Cook, Griffith University; 2:07.89

  • Men's 4x100m Freestyle Relay; F Southam, J Collett, T Hauck, B Armbruster; Bond University; 3:20.77


This is the last meet on the calendar for many student-athletes as they begin their preparations for the short-course swimming season ahead or for some, the 2024 Paris Olympics, Paris Paralympic Games, and World Swimming Short Course Championship to be held throughout July to September.

 

For a full list of results or for more information, head to the UniSport Nationals Swimming website at www.unisport.com.au/nationals-swimming.

 

 

About UniSport    

UniSport Australia (UniSport) is the peak body for university sport in Australia. 42 universities are members of UniSport, representing a population of over one million students. UniSport’s ambition is to become an integral partner to Australian universities and to deliver an outstanding student experience at our national intervarsity competitions.      

  

    

For more information please contact:     

Shannon Knaus

Marketing and Communications Manager     

 

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