Medal mania at Athletics Nationals

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Sydney University Athletic Club members came away from the Australian Open and Under 20 Championships, held at the Queensland Sport and Athletics Centre at the weekend, with seven gold, four silver and five bronze medals. 

The Club’s four Olympians, Michelle JennekeNicola OlyslagersMackenzie Little and Rohan Browning, each won Open titles along with Desleigh Owusu, while Jack Greaves and Tim Sanki won Under 20 titles.

Jenneke ran a slick 12.77 to claim the women’s 100m title, with Celeste Mucci (12.92) and Hannah Jones (12.99) finishing second and third. The three had finished in the same order at the Brisbane Track Classic the previous Saturday. Jenneke earned a berth in the final with 12.93 win in her qualifying heat. She has dominated the Summer Series, having also won the event at the Maurie Plant Meet (12.75) and Sydney Track Classic (12.70).

Olyslagers won the Open women’s high jump at the Championships with a leap of 1.95m in the final to edge out Emily Whelan (1.86m) and SUAC teammate Erin Shaw (1.86m) into second and third placings. She attempted 1.98m but missed at her three jumps. Olyslagers (nee McDermott) won the silver medal at the 2021 Tokyo Olympic Games with a 2.02m jump and came 5th at the 2022 World Championships with a 1.96m leap. She studied biochemistry at Sydney University and was a member of the Sydney Uni Sport and Fitness Elite Athlete Program.

Mackenzie Little won the Open women’s javelin with a throw of 61.46m, edging out Kelsey-Lee Barber (57.05m) and Katrina Blackett (52.05m) into second and third placings. Little was a 2021 Tokyo Olympic representative.

Browning won the Open men’s 100m final in a slick 10.02s, with Druv Chico-Rodrigues (10.21) and Jacob Despard (10.26) filling the minor placings. Browning, another 2021 Tokyo Olympian, won his heat in 10.18s and his semi-final in 10.17.

Owusu won the Open women’s triple jump, her first National title, with a mark of 13.33m, with Kayla Cuba (13.05m) and Annabelle Parmegiani (12.88m) filling the minor placings.

Greaves won men’s Under 20 javelin with a throw of 71.58m, with Haddi El Shorbagy (68.44) taking silver and New Zealander Douw Rotes (65.21) taking bronze.

And Sanki won the Australian Under 20 400m title in a personal best time of 47.79s from Josh Fabiani (47.85) and Jett Grundy (48.01).

SUAC’s silver medal athletes were Alyssa LowAllanah PitcherConnor Murphy and Lachlan Raper.

Low finished second in the Open women’s long jump. Brooke Byschkuehl won the event with a leap of 6.68m, with Low posting a personal best of 6.45m and Annie McGuire finishing third with a jump of 6.40m.

Pitcher finished second in the Open women’s 10km walk with a time of 45:43.34. The event was won by Olivia Sandery in 44:56.00, with Hannah Mison finishing third in 46:02.80.

Murphy collected silver in the Open men’s triple jump with a personal best distance of 16.61m. Aiden Hinson (16.61m) won the event, with Julian Konle (16.50m) taking bronze.

Raper ran a strong race to finish with silver in the Open men’s 800m in a time of 1:47.83. Riley McGowan won the event in 1:47.67, with Luke Boyes finishing third in 1:47.90.

And SUAC’s bronze medallists included Erin ShawHelen PretoriusChris IusCameron McIntyre and Jack Greaves.

Pretorius finished third in the Open women’s 400m in 54.11s behind Jessie Andrew (52.62) and Ellie Beer (53.16).

Ius finished third in the Open men’s 200m in 20.872 behind Jake Doran (20.81) and Japan’s Yoshihide Kiryu (20.82).

McEntyre collected bronze in the Open men’s javelin with a throw of 73.18m. France’s Felise Vahai Sosaia won the event with a throw of 75.72m, with Howard McDonald (75.02m) taking silver.

And Greaves claimed bronze in the Under 20 men’s discus with a throw of 51.96m. Darcy Miller took gold with a 59.18m throw from Darcy Giddings (54.97m).

SUAC Director of Athletics, James FitzGerald, said the Club fielded a record 66 athletes at the Open and Under 20 Nationals and the results were outstanding. “There were a number of PBs, and seven of the medallists are young students on the Elite Athlete Program run by Sydney Uni Sport and Fitness,” he said. “They include Erin Shaw,

Chris IusConnor MurphyHelen PretoriusTim SankiAllanah Pitcher and Alyssa Low.”