Sydney University Athletic Club named state’s best

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Sydney University track athletes can now lay claim to being the state’s best after the Athletic Club was crowned NSW Champions.

 The men’s team took out the their competition, finishing in front of UTS Norths, by 28 points at the NSW Club Championships on Saturday in horrendously hot conditions at the Sydney Olympic Park Athletic Centre.

There were a number of standout performances with Andrew Clarke and Steven Andreazza running personal bests to win their heats of the 100m.

Andrew Giltrap was impressive in both the Discus and Shot Put, and 400 metre competitors James Dooley and Alex Pettigrew ran well above themselves by posting great times in an event which looked to be one of the clubs weakest.

The 1500m athletes were the ones who suffered the most; the temperature on the track was in excess of 60 degrees- sprinters couldn’t take to the blocks without the track being watered down beforehand.

In the 1500m, Sydney Uni’s James Nipperess went straight to the front and lead most of the way to take the victory

Nipperess was followed in second by another SUAC athlete Lachlan Chisholm, the three times national champ who described the conditions as “the most oppressive he had ever run in.”

The effort from the 1500m boys proved to be very significant and was much appreciated by the rest off the team.

Interestingly Alex Head, long time club member and the son of the warden at Pauls College, came out of retirement to throw a mighty discus!

The standout competitor from the men’s team was James Dooley.

Dooley competed in the 100m where he recorded a personal best, placed in the 200 hurdles, completed a series of impressive long jumps and threw the shot put to help get the Men’s team across the line, in an inspiring performance by anyone’s standards.

The medley relay was the final event and the team was anchored in the 800m leg by none other than Beijing Olympic Representative Lachlan Renshaw, who has recently returned from an extended training stint in the US with the Oregon Track Club.

Renshaw took the baton in second and cruised to victory looking very impressive.

In the women’s event the girls finished second to UTS Norths by 15 points, giving SUAC the overall title (combined men’s and women’s) victory by a mere 13 points.

Again there were a number of significant performances. 

In the 100m Larissa Pasternatsky and Elizabeth Jenkins won their heats of the 100m.

In the 400m Anneliese Rubie destroyed the field, running an incredibly impressive 400m in very hot and windy conditions.

Joanna Cubis also won her heat of the 400m posting a season’s best time.

Again at 1500m the girls really suffered in the heat with Lara Tamsett running one of the most exciting races of the day to be out dipped on the line for second place in a very quick time.

Tamsett was supported in the 1500m by Freya Wilson and Lariisa Stanley.

In the throws Alix Kennedy was a powerhouse, scoring big points in the shot put, supported by Stephanie Langrdige, and in the Discus supported by Jacqui Fry,

Jacqui Fry also ran second in the 200 hurdles, and jumped well in the long jump where she combined well with Karina Bangel (who also ran a strong 100m).

Fry competed in the 200m hurdles, discus and long jump, however it was probably Elizabeth Jenkins who was the ‘Best Female on Ground.’

Jenkins won her heat of the 100m, ran a stunning 200m relay leg in the medley relay, and completed a solid 200m hurdles – an event she has absolutely no experience in, but put her hand up to compete in without complaint for the good of the team.

The medley relay was also a special event where the girls finished second.

Pasternatsky (200m), Jenkins (200m), Rubie (400m) and Erin Binks (800m) all recorded relay splits being close to or faster than their personal bests.  

The championships were summed up by a quote from Lachlan Renshaw, “It was a really tough day for competition but everyone got out there and really put in, the performances of Dooley, Jenkins and Fry were amazing.”

“It was a pleasure to be a part of it and a great day for the Sydney University Athletic Club.”

In other news, on Thursday night Emma Rilen won another NSW Championship recording an emphatic victory in the 5000m in hot conditions.

Rilen will challenge for World Cross Country selection later in the year and looks to be getting back to her very best form after a long series of injuries.

SUAC’s Russell Dessaix Chin finished 2nd in the Mens 5000m in a gutsy performance.

In further great news, Hugh Williams won the Australian Junior Selection Trial for the World Junior Cross Country Championships, and was selected in the World Junior Cross Country team that will travel to Spain later in the year.