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Records tumble during historic Nationals Athletics meet

Seven records fell and another was equalled during a historic UniSport Nationals Athletics meet at Sydney Olympic Park on the weekend.

Undoubtedly the most memorable moment of the meet, was the moment The University of Melbourne student, Catriona Bisset (Master of Architecture and Diploma in Languages) solo ran sub-two minutes in the women’s 800m (1:59.78), not only smashing the UniSport record but posting the fourth fastest Australian time in history and the first sub-two Australian performance in over ten years.

Bisset was overcome by emotion who just last week ran a World Championship qualifier which will see her compete for Australia in Doha, Qatar later this year.

With the event returning to the athletics season in 2019, student-athletes from around the country raised the bar and posted some very impressive performances across the four-day championship. The women’s competition was particularly remarkable with seven meet records falling in both track and field events.

On night one, Commonwealth Games silver medallist and Australian Catholic University student, Alexandra Hulley (Occupational Therapy) threw 63.63m in the women’s hammer throw to stamp her name into the UniSport record books, whilst Genevieve Cowie (Bachelor of Science) from USYD ran 58.47s in the women’s 400m hurdles, taking nearly two seconds off the previous record.

It was neck-and-neck in the men’s event, with USYD’s Matthew Fisher (Bachelor of Engineering) beating Deakin University’s Harrison Roubin (Bachelor of Law) by one tenth of a second.

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, while UNSW Sydney student Georgia Winkcup (Bachelor of Law) claimed the gold medal and UniSport record in the women’s 3,000m steeple chase with a time of 10:18.28.

Just ten minutes later, Winkcup backed up in the 800m heats, posting a personal best performance of 2:11.71 only to better this again by seven tenths of a second in the final on Sunday.

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) from opponents Isabella Reeves (Bachelor of Physiotherapy/Bachelor of Exercise Sports Science - The University of Notre Dame Australia) and Hannah Jones (Bachelor of Engineering - UNSW Sydney) who all finished faster than the previous record, which was set by Jones in 2017.

Jenneke competed in nine events over the championship, also winning gold in the 100m, 200m, 4x100 and medley relay events.

Records continued to fall on the track with Monash University student and former Australian UniRoo Georgia Griffith (Bachelor of Communication Design and Business) posting a season best, FISU Summer Universiade qualifier and UniSport record in the women’s 1,500m with a time of 4:10.52.

Griffith’s training partner and fellow Victorian, Georgia Hansen (Bachelor of Commerce - The University of Melbourne) pushed Griffith all the way finishing in a narrow second place, also claiming a Universiade qualifying time of 4:11.22.

Focus now shifts the UniSport Nationals returning to Sydney in May for the Nationals Swimming championships which will be held in conjunction with Swimming New South Wales’ Sydney Open meet from 10-12 May.

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