Sydney University Athletics Club topped an outstanding season being named UniSport National Champion after the men’s and women’s teams headed their respective points tallies at the 2024 Championships held at the Gold Coast Performance Centre, Queensland.

UniSport Nationals provide an opportunity for students at 42 member universities from across Australia to compete head-to-head in several national sporting competitions throughout the year culminating with National Championships. The winners from each sport at the various carnivals are combined to name the overall National Champion.

With a team of over 60 athletes competing at the Gold Coast, SUAC came away with four gold medals, nine silver and five bronze to claim the overall title. The golds included wins in the 4x100m men’s and women’s relays. Iram Palma, Ethan Quintana, Thomas Tucker and Joseph Ayoade combined to take out the men’s relay, while Georgia Fichardt, Eliza Da Silva Elysha Cramer and Angelina Windshuttle claimed the women’s title.

SUAC’s other gold medal winners were Allegra McGiven in the 3000m steeplechase and Abigail Gilbert in the 10000m. McGiven ran 10:47.92 to edge out Wollongong University’s Ruby McPhillips (11:12.60) and SUAC’s Sophie Gocher (11:18.48); while Gilbert ran 38:52.30 to head SUAC teammate Lucinda Alder (38:54.38) and Southern Cross University’s Jo Wilson (41:34.16).

SUAC’s silver medallists included Allegra McGivern (5000m); Timothy Sanki, Hayden Fleming, Damien Mizzi and Jack Lynch (men’s 4x400m relay); Ben Bishop (3000m steeplechase); Jono Titmarsh (High Jump); Kailyn Joseph (Long Jump); Hannah Parker (5000m Walk); Lucy Alder (10000m); Lockie Townsend (10000m) and Jack Lynch, Jessica Quilter Jones, Rachel Tougher and Hayden Fleming (Mixed 4x400m relay).

Bronze medallists included Angelina Windshuttle (200m), Mitchell Hatfield (High Jump), Sophie Gocher (3000m Steeplechase), Joseph Ayoade (100m) and Alexandra Harrison (High Jump).

The medal tally might have been higher but for several mishaps. Lockie Townsend finished in bronze medal position in the 1500m but was disqualified for impeding the 4th placed runner in a fall over the line. An appeal against the disqualification, which included a testimony from the UNSW athlete that he was not impeded was dismissed. And James Kotis took a fall in the 110m hurdles final and was disqualified after the athlete in the adjacent lane hit his hurdle which then knocked James’ hurdle off axis.

SUAC Registrar and Treasurer Andrew Heil said highlights from the carnival included the men and women winning the blue riband relays and seven SUAC females competing in the 5000m.

With the biggest team SUAC has fielded and so many athletes competing the logistics and organisation was first class under team manager Josh Tassell, team captains Ben Bishop and Lucy Alder and SUSF Intervarsity Sport & Club Development Manager Matthew Hutchinson.

“Team support also came from a multiple number of SUAC individuals, including club captain Michelle Jenneke, who is preparing for Paris Olympics, Club President Gillian Ragus and ground commentator and former Director of Athletics at Sydney University Dean Gleeson,” Mr Heil said.

“It was a wonderful carnival held in great spirit on the Gold Coast where UniSport will return in 2025. USYD students were exceptional on and off the track with multiple student athletes volunteering to assist Athletics Australia and UniSport with volunteer duties.”

While the medallists took centre stage, SUAC had a host of top 10 finishers, including:

  • 4th 4x400m Women’s relay (Rachel Tougher, Jessica Quilter-Jones, Taylah Anderson, Julia Baxter)
  • 4th Jayden Yiu 3000mSC
  • 4th Ben Bishop 10000m
  • 4th Ben Bishop 1500m
  • 4th Tim Sanki 400m
  • 5th Georgia Fichardt 400mH
  • 5th Lucy Alder 5000m
  • 5th Cris Corvalan Javelin Throw
  • 5th Matt Butler Hammer Throw
  • 5th Luke Wilson 10000m
  • 5th Matt Butler Hammer Throw
  • 6th Lockie Townsend 5000m
  • 6th Drew Fryer 10000m
  • 6th Sophie Gocher 1500m PB
  • 6th Ethan Quintana 100m
  • 7th Ben Bishop 5000m
  • 7th Kristen Cook 800m
  • 7th Sophie Gocher 5000m
  • 7th Mitchell Hatfield Triple Jump
  • 7th Alicia MacMillan Triple Jump
  • 8th Alicia MacMillan 400mH
  • 8th Marc ‘The Shark’ Girard 800m
  • 8th Georgia Fichardt 100mH
  • 8th Andy Leung Triple Jump
  • 8th Kristen Cook 1500m
  • 8th Jasper Vajdic 10000m
  • 9th Nikola Salinger Shot Put
  • 9th Oliver Klotz Javelin Throw
  • 10th Julia Baxter 400m Hurdles