Sydney University Athletics Club ended the winter season with nine members competing at the World Championships in Budapest, including current students Mackenzie Little, Allanah Pitcher and Erin Shaw.
The club came away with two bronze medals through Nicola Olyslagers in the women’s high jump and Mackenzie Little in the women’s javelin and three top 20 finishers in sprinter Rohan Browning, Cameron McEntyre in the men’s javelin and club captain and six-time World Championship representative, hurdler Shelly Jenneke.
Olyslagers cleared 1.99m for her bronze and bettered that at the Diamond League track and field meet in Eugene, Oregon, the following week with a 2.03m clearance to set a new Australian mark, while Little threw 63.38m for her bronze in the javelin.
Browning ran 10.11 in the men’s 100m semi-finals to finish 14th overall, Michelle Jenneke ran 12.80 in the women’s hurdle semi-final to finish 14th overall, and Cameron McIntyre threw 78.10m in the men’s javelin to finish 19th overall.
SUAC’s other World Championship representatives included Allanah Pitcher, who finished 21st in the women’s 35km walk; Jacob McCorry, who finished 28th in the men’s 110m hurdle; Erin Shaw, who cleared 1.80m in the women’s high jump to finish 29th; and Nick Andrews, who ran 13.92 in the men’s 110m hurdle to finish 39th.
A large number of SUAC alumni, friends and family were present to witness the nine days of the World Championships, proudly supported by the club’s TargetParis program, Sydney Uni Sport and Fitness and the University of Sydney.
Earlier in the season, the SUAC men’s A team won the 2023 Athletics NSW Winter Road and Cross-Country Premiership which featured 29 clubs. They won the Half Marathon Championships, the Cross-Country Championships and the Short Course Championships and finished second in the Sydney10 and third in the Cross-Country Relays and Road Relays. It was SUAC’s 9th premiership win out of the last 10 contested Winter Premierships. The SUAC men’s B team finished 5th this year.
SUAC were also runners-up to a strong Run Crew team in the Women’s Premiership. SUAC’s women’s team had won the premiership each year from 2013 to 2019.
Following an Australian record for the 35km walk, winning the NSW 10km walk championship and finishing 21st at World Championships, Allanah Pitcher was named 2023 NSW Walker of the Year, while Lockie Townsend finished 3rd in the NSW Winter Runner of the Year to Ben St Lawrence and Ed Goddard.
Meanwhile, SUAC has two new club record holders in James Nipperess in the half marathon and Allanah Pitcher. Nipperess claimed the record from the previous holder, Liam Adams, with a run of 64:40 in the Gold Coast event, while Pitcher, an Elite Athlete Program member, broke the Australian 35km walk record with a time of 2:50.23 in Japan before attending the World Championships in Budapest. She was later named NSW Female Winter Walker of the Year.
In other results, Sarah Clifton-Bligh won Elite 10km wheelchair Sydney10, Drew Fryer finished second in the NSW Short Course Cross-Country Championships, and Joe Burgess finished third in the| Half Marathon Championships.
And Lockie Townsend and Audrey Amiya-Hall were named male and female Winter Athletes of the Year for the H. (Henley) Harrison Shield.