An historic UniSport Nationals Athletics Championships, supported by Strategic Partner, Tourism & Events Queensland, has wrapped up today, with The University of Queensland (UQ) and The University of Sydney (USYD) being crowned the overall men’s and women’s champion universities, respectively.
Forty universities descended on the Gold Coast Performance Centre, Queensland to contest the championships across a bursting track and field events program. Fifteen meet records were broken throughout the week, solidifying that the standard of competition continues to get stronger from year to year.
UniSport Australia CEO, Mark Sinderberry congratulated all student-athletes for their performances this year, particularly UQ and USYD for winning their respective men’s and women’s overall titles.
“This event continues to grow in stature with the support of Athletics Australia and the top-class facility on the Gold Coast. UniSport Nationals has fast become an important event on the athletics calendar; this year was our largest event since 1996 with over 400 student-athletes representing their universities with pride this year”, Sinderberry said.
The tempo was set from day one, with many outstanding performances being posted throughout the week. Most notably, Jai Gordon of the University of Southern Queensland (UniSQ) set a new men’s 100m record of 10.27 which ended an honour held for 57 years (1966) by Gary Eddy of The University of Melbourne (MELB) and equalled in 1968 by Phillip King, also of MELB.
In what can only be described as a serendipitous moment when advising the Eddy family of the new record, officials learnt that Gary who had been battling illness, was laid to rest by his family and friends just hours before Gordon set the new benchmark for the next generation of university sprinters. Eddy’s daughter, Celeste passed on her congratulations for Gordon, “I feel it is very fitting his record goes this week!”
Gordon expressed his condolences to the family and reflected on his performance. “I am both humbled and honoured to carry on his (Gary’s) legacy as a student-athlete.”
Eddy’s other longstanding records, the men’s 200m (1967; equalled in 1981 by UNSW’s Derek Blumberg) as well as the 4x100m relay (1967) didn’t last much longer, as on day three of the championships, UQ’s Lachlan Kennedy claimed the individual honours in the 200m and a strong UQ contingent of Luke McLellan, Andrew Clare, Rory Easton and Kennedy earning important team points in a blistering 4x100m relay effort.
The outstanding performances that resulted in new UniSport records include:
Men’s 100m: Jai Gordon, University of Southern Queensland: 10.27s (w: 3.0)
Men’s 200m: Lachlan Kennedy, The University of Queensland: 20.93s (w: 1.7)
Men’s 400m: Reece Holder, Queensland University of Technology: 46.00s
Men’s 4x100m Relay: The University of Queensland: 40.58s
Men’s Long Jump: Liam Adcock, The University of Queensland: 8.15m (w: 1.5)
Men’s 1500m MC: Jaryd Clifford (T12), The University of Melbourne: 3:48.75 min
Women’s Long Jump: Alyssa Lowe, The University of Sydney: 6.36m (w: 0.3)
Women’s 5000m racewalk: Hannah Mison, The University of Newcastle: 22:10.95 min
Women’s 4x100m Relay: The University of Sydney: 46.02s
Women’s 100m MC:
Summer Giddings (T/F35), Macquarie University: 18.00s
Abby Craswell (T36), Griffith University: 15.06s
Amy Tobin (Rr1), Southern Cross University: 30.44s
Women’s 200m MC:
Summer Giddings (T/F35), Macquarie University: 40.03s
Tamsin Colley (T36), UNSW Sydney: 32.86s
Women’s Long Jump MC: Kailyn Johnson (T37), The University of Sydney: 4.05m
Sinderberry noted how the standard on the event is continuing to improve, evidenced in the number of records broken during the event. “I would like to particularly congratulate the efforts of those student-athletes who broke records in the 100m, 200m, long jump and relay that dated back to the 1960’s and 70’s. An outstanding achievement.”
Ten para-athletes also took to the championships in both track and field events. With multiple entries in the women’s 100m multi-class, a separate race was conducted for the first time, with a women’s para combined-university team contesting the 4x100m relay on the third day of competition.
Whilst the championships were glittered with many incredible performances, the opportunity it provided for students to compete, connect, and make lifelong memories is no less significant to the continuing success of the UniSport Nationals program.
Sinderberry passed on his sentiments to all participating individuals, “I hope every athlete is proud of their performances, had the opportunity to make new connections and most importantly, enjoyed themselves throughout the experience” he said.
In a first, the entire event was streamed on UniSport’s dedicated streaming platform, UniSportTV. Viewers were able to tune in live and free to watch the action. All three days of action can now be viewed on demand. Visit UniSportTV
The final results can be viewed at unisport.com.au/nationals-athletics.
The UniSport Nationals series continues with Swimming being held in conjunction with the Sydney Open from 12-14 May.
UniSport Australia (UniSport) is the peak body for university sport in Australia. 43 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.
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