Team of the Year award for Athletics Club

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Graham Croker

Strong individual and club performances at a host of state, national and international meets resulted in the Sydney University Athletics Club being named 2010 Australian University Sport’s Team of the Year.

Sydney University Sports and Fitness Executive Director, Rob Smithies, was on hand accept the award, which was announced at the annual AUS Awards and Honour Roll function, held in Adelaide last week.

The SUAC’s nomination for the award made for impressive reading, headed by a list of Australian representatives, including Australian 800m champion and Commonwealth Games representative Lachlan Renshaw, Australian cross country champion and World Championship representative Lara Tamsett, Australian junior 400m champion Anneliese Rubie, Australian junior 1500m champion Todd Wakefield, and Australian team member at Ekiden relays in Japan James Nipperess.

Tamsett also won the female section of the 2010 City to Surf, while Nipperess and fellow SUAC member Lachlan Chisholm quinellared the Sydney Bridge Run.

SUAC’s men topped the NSW Club Championships, while the women’s contingent finished third; the club finished second in the overall medal tally at the NSW Championships, with nine gold, one silver and one bronze; and SUAC also finished first overall and in the men’s and women’s categories at the 2010 Australian University Games.

SUAC’s female competitors dominated the NSW Track and Field Relay Championships, finishing first in the 4x200m and 4x400m, second in the medley relay and the 4x1500m, and third in the 4x800m and 4xdiscuss. The club’s male contingent won the 4x1500m relay, finished second in the medley relay and third in the 4x200m relay.

The club also won the men’s NSW Championship 10km Team Walks and finished second in the NSW 10km men’s Road Championships teams category, with first place going to Russell Dessaix-Chin ahead of SUAC team-mate Bradley Croker.

SUAC finished third in the men’s category and fourth in the women’s category of the NSW Road Relay Championships; and second (men’s) and third (women’s) in the NSW Cross Country Relays; while Dessaix-Chin finished second, and Nipperess third in the NSW Distance Runner-of-the-Year pointscore.

SUAC coach Dean Gleeson said 2010 had been a great year for the club. “We were able to assemble our largest ever team to travel to Perth for the AUGs,” he said. “To come away with a win in both the men’s and women’s events was a well deserved.

“And to be able to do so in such a dominant fashion was testament to the hard work of team managers Ben Cross and Erin Binks.

“The amazing statistic at this event was that the Sydney University women’s team pointscore would have been enough to win the overall (men’s and women’s) pointscore.

“That will be an incredibly difficult achievement to top. I don’t remember a team ever being so dominant since the inception of AUGs back in the early 1990s. We look forward to the Gold Coast, where no doubt we will face a very strong University of Queensland on home turf. 

“To put icing on the cake, the recent selections of James Nipperess and Anneliese Rubie in the World University Games athletics team really reinforces what an amazing year it has been for the club at this level.”