Sydney University Athletic Club members shone at three different competitions over the weekend, with a series of winning performances: at the Canberra Track Classic and World Cross Country Trials in Canberra, and at the NSW Junior Championships held in Sydney.

The star of the weekend was Michelle Jenneke, who won the 100m hurdles at the Canberra Track Classic in a time of 13.04sec, breaking the NSW record, the SUAC club record and posting a World University Games qualifying performance.

The time was this quickest by an Australian this season and augers well for Jenneke considering she was only 0.04sec outside the qualifying standard for the World Championships later in the year. Team-mate Liz Clay was 3rd in the same event with a strong performance.

In the men’s hurdles, SUAC were just as dominant with Nick Hough winning the 110m race in a slick 13.68sec, which was his third fastest time at the distance and another World University Games qualifying performance. In second place was SUAC Captain Justin Merlino, who ran 13.77sec, his best result for many seasons.

In the women’s 200m, Ella Nelson opened her account for the season with a very quick 23.33sec finishing 2nd to Sally Pearson. Interestingly for Nelson, she was able to beat the national record holder at 100m, Melissa Breen.

Angie Ballard confirmed she has not lost any of the form she brought home from the Commonwealth Games by posting a win in the wheelchair 400m in a time of 56.78sec.

Jin Su Jung continued his run of good form at 100m finishing a close 3rd in the men’s sprint, while in the women’s 1500m Jenny Blundell finished a close 4th in her first race back from injury after threatening well into the straight.

Other strong performances on the night came from club captain Lizzie Jenkins, who ran personal bests in the 100m and 200m, Chrissie Grunn, who threw a personal best in the javelin, and Lewis Horenko, who also ran a personal best in the 400m.

The World Cross Country trials were also held in Canberra at the weekend. SUAC had its best ever result in the women’s event with Kate Spencer (3rd), Em Brichacek (4th), Nat Archer 8th and Em Ryan 12th. Spencer’s 3rd place meant automatic selection for the World cross Country Championships later in the year.

In the men’s event, James Nipperess turned in a strong run to finish 5th, which should make a strong case for his selection.

Meanwhile, at the NSW Junior Championships, SUAC won five gold medals, five silver and one bronze medal in what is surely the best ever showing for the club in this event.

Golds went to Mason Cohen (800m), Jamie Carr (400m hurdles), Nicola McDermott (high jump), Annabelle Parmegiani (triple jump) and Matthew Dowsett (110m hurdles).

Silver medals were won by Maddy Bergfield (discus and shot put), Becky Clark (high jump), Harry Day (high jump) and Matthew Dempsey (1500m), while Courtney Schultz won bronze in the 400m.

This week’s athletics action will see SUAC athletes competing at the Perth Track Classic and the NSW 5000m Championships.

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