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The University of Sydney reclaim their title as the premier track & field university at the UniSport Nationals Athletics

For release: 1 May 2024


The University of Sydney (USYD) have reclaimed their title as the premier university for track and field as they win both the men’s and women’ competition at the 2024 UniSport Nationals Athletics championship.

The University of Sydney celebrating winning the Women's pennant
The University of Sydney celebrating winning the Women's pennant

Over 450 student-athletes from across 38 member universities competed in the UniSport Nationals Athletics championship at the Gold Coast, QLD from 24-26 April. The Gold Coast Performance Centre was speckled with white and blue as the largest squads hailed from The University of Sydney (USYD) and The University of Melbourne (MELB).


The race for the men’s title was close and after a software error was identified post-event, the point score was reviewed and USYD won the men’s title by 1 point. UniSport Australia sincerely apologises for this error and for awarding the pennant on the day to The University of Queensland (UQ). UniSport understands the disappointment that UQ and USYD have experienced. The events team has dealt with the issue in a clean and efficient manner with consultation from Athletics Australia. UniSport Australia have taken responsibility for this error and thanks both universities for their professionalism and spirit.


“The talent and comradery that has been on display not just between teammates but all athletes has been wonderful to witness.” said UniSport Australia Chief Executive Officer Mark Sinderberry.

 

“Our three-day National Athletics event is a fantastic opportunity for students across the country to participate in their respective sports in a competitive environment.

 

“It’s fantastic to see our Universities supporting Australian athletes and para-athletes, students who are prioritising both their love of sport and journey through higher education. UniSport Australia passes on our congratulations and thanks to all athletes, officials, Universities and volunteers who took part this year.” said Sinderberry.

 

Tryphena Hewett from the University of South Australia (UniSA) opened the bidding with an astounding performance on the women’s pole vault which earned her the gold medal and a new UniSport record. Meanwhile, the men’s pole vault was neck and neck between Aiden Princena-White from the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) and Liam Georgilopoulos from Bond University (BOND), both athletes raising the bar till its fifteenth increment. Georgilopoulos’ (BOND) final vault over a whopping height of 5.10m (a new UniSport record) earnt him the gold. On the track, Western Sydney University (WS) were unstoppable in the 4x400m mixed relay. Led by William Zakis (WS) and anchored by Scarlett Pye (WS), the team finished ahead of the crowd by four seconds, cementing a new UniSport record and upsetting crowd favourites, UTS.


UniSport records set and broken on day one:

  • Women’s Pole Vault: Tryphena Hewett, University of South Australia; 4.10m

  • Women’s 100m T01: Amalie Leslie, University of Canberra; 15.88s

  • Women’s 100m T35: Summer Giddings, Macquarie University; 17.63s

  • Women’s Heptathlon: Camryn Newton-Smith, University of Southern Queensland; 6180

  • Men’s Pole Vault: Liam Georgilopoulos, Bond University; 5.10m

  • Men’s 100m T13: James Tirado, UNSW Sydney; 11.63s

  • Men’s 100m T37: Aaron Green, Murdoch University; 35.80s

  • Mixed 4x400m Relay: W Zakis, S Luxford, T Hunt, S Pye; Western Sydney University; 3:32.05s


Men's 100m heats start line taking off
Men's 100m Heats Start Line on Day 1

There was no slowing day on day two as even more UniSport records were set and broken. Olivia Inkster (UTS) flew down the track in the Women’s 100m to break a longstanding record set by Barbara Wilson (nee Jordan) (UQ) in 1973. Meanwhile, Jai Gordon (USQ) dug deep into the reserves to break his own Men’s 100m UniSport record set the year prior. Tamsin Colley from UNSW Sydney (UNSW) glistened with gold as she added three more gold medals and UniSport records to her collection. Success was raining down for the in-form Summer Giddings from Macquarie University (MQU), Amalie Leslie from University of Canberra (UC), and Amy Tobin from Southern Cross University (SCU) as they performed admirably in their respective multi-class events to earn UniSport records.

 

“Nationals Athletics is a great atmosphere and it’s good to travel with my university and all my teammates,” said Colley. This is the third time that the UNSW Exercise Physiology student has attended the UniSport Nationals Athletics and always represents her university with great pride.


On the field, Roman Anastasios (MELB) had the crowd by his side as he raised the bar to 2.23m, three centimetres short of his MELB predecessor’s record, Joel Baden. Despite falling short of the record, Anastasios came away with a season’s best and the men’s high jump champion title. It was the same for Toby Stolberg of The University of Queensland (UQ) in the women’s high jump; just three centimetres short of the UniSport record set by Nicola McDermott (USYD) in 2019.


UniSport records set and broken on day two:

  • Women’s 100m: Olivia Inkster, University of Technology Sydney; 11.50s

  • Women’s 200m T01: Amalie Leslie, University of Canberra; 33.17s

  • Women’s 200m T35: Summer Giddings, Macquarie University; 39.84s

  • Women’s 200m T36: Tamsin Colley, UNSW Sydney; 32.45s

  • Women’s 200m T37: Amy Tobin, Southern Cross University; 1:13.82

  • Women’s 400m T36: Tamsin Colley, UNSW Sydney; 2:52.85

  • Women’s Discus Throw F20: Lillee Wakefield, University of South Australia; 26.68m

  • Women’s Long Jump F35: Summer Giddings, Macquarie University; 2.99m

  • Women’s Long Jump F36: Tamsin Colley, UNSW Sydney; 3.57m

  • Men’s 100m: Jai Gordon, University of Southern Queensland; 10.26s


On the final day, the Griffith University Women’s team had a clear lead in the points table whilst The University of Sydney Men’s team was closely followed by The University of Queensland. Strong performances from Emelia Surch (GU) and Olivia Malone (GU) in the Women’s Long Jump extended their lead significantly with both athletes claiming gold and silver. However, it was down to the relays which gave USYD the edge they needed to run pass the GU Women. For the second year running, the women’s multi-class athlete 4x100m relay took to the track and ran a season’s best at 1:04.72.

 

Colley (UNSW) said “we all compete against each other in other athletics events, we are very close [to each other] and we touched base at the event to put together this relay team.”

 

Tamsin Colley (UNSW) competing in the Women's Long Jump.
Tamsin Colley (UNSW) competing in the Para Women's Long Jump

Thomas Hunt (WS) put on an astounding performance in the Men’s 400m race to earn the gold and a new UniSport record. Consistent performances from the UQ men in both track and field kept the USYD men on their toes as Edward Rogan (UQ) speared a gold in the Men’s Javelin Throw, Blake Stieper jumped 7.62m to take silver in the Men’s Long Jump, and both the 4x100m and 4x400m relays earned a spot on the podium. However, higher placings by the USYD men in the 4x100m and 4x400m relay which determined the USYD men as overall university champions.


UniSport records set and broken on day three:

  • Men’s 200m: Christopher Geordas, UNSW Sydney; 20.85s

  • Men’s 400m Hurdles: Thomas Hunt, Western Sydney University; 50.50s


The UniSport Nationals Athletics championship is the last World Athletics recognised event on the calendar within Australia and saw many university student-athletes attempt to chase international event(s) qualifications. Alongside the university student-athletes, there were 10 invitational athletes that competed to chase international event(s) qualification.

 

All the action from the 2024 UniSport Nationals Athletics championship can be revisited on the UniSportTV website.

 

The UniSport Nationals continues with Nationals Swimming held at the Sydney Open Championship in Sydney, NSW from 9-11 May.

 

For more information, please contact:

 

Shannon Knaus

Marketing and Communications Manager

07 3876 2610

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