Sport review

Last year turned out to be a stellar one for a host of University athletes and clubs.

By Andrew Tilley

Youth Olympic Festival

Image of Summer Universaide (World University Games)

Summer Universaide (World University Games)

Sydney University student athletes won an incredible 10 medals at the 2013 Australian Youth Olympic Festival (AYOF) held in Sydney in January. Jillaroos women’s hockey player Nina Khoury (gold) joined Sydney Uni rowers Holly Lawrence (two gold, one bronze), Emma Thomas (two gold, one bronze), India Evans (one gold, one bronze) and Peter Koster (bronze) on the podium.

Record Women’s Cricket

On February 3 the Universities Women’s Cricket Club (UWCC) was crowned 2012/13 Sydney Cricket Association First Grade Twenty20 Premiers, their first ever Premiership in any grade. In October, Universities women’s cricket captain Alex Blackwell and teammate Rachel Haynes put on the highest opening partnership (387) in the Sydney women’s grade competition history.

Rowers win six straight

New South Wales Open men’s eight – containing six Sydney University Boat Club (SUBC) representatives (Fergus Pragnell, Matt Ryan, Nick Purnell, Francis Hegerty, Sam Loch and Toby Lister) – continued their dominance of Australia’s premier rowing event, the King’s Cup, with yet another win over arch rivals Victoria at the Sydney International Regatta Centre on March 23.

Swimmers in National

Image of Rugby Club with Shute Shield

Rugby Club wins another Shute Shield

Six Sydney University swimmers were rewarded for their exceptional performances at April’s 2013 Swimming Championships in Adelaide, when they were named in Swimming Australia’s various teams. Matt Abood (2013 World Championships), Sarah Rose, Sarah Hilt (Australia A), Hayley White, Andrew Abood and Keiran Qaium (World University Games) competed in national teams later in 2013.

Sydney shines on world stage

Competing at the second-largest sporting event in the world by participation at July’s 27th Summer Universiade (World University Games), Sydney Uni’s Andrew Abood (swimming silver), Hayley White (swimming bronze), Katie-Rae Ebzery (basketball bronze) and Ian Dewhurst (athletics bronze) all experienced podium conclusions in Russia.

Water Polo silver

The Australian Women’s Water Polo team, featuring three Sydney Uni Women’s Water Polo Club representatives – Hannah Buckling, Keesja Gofers and Lea Barta – finished runners-up at the World Championships in Barcelona, going down 8-6 to host nation Spain in the final which was held on August 2.

Gridiron club victory

The Sydney University Lions crowned their unbroken run of 10 straight NSW Waratah Bowl titles when they won the inaugural American Football National Club Championship on August 11. The Lions thrashed reigning Queensland champions the Gold Coast Stingrays 45-13. In December, the Lions went on to win their 11th straight Waratah Bowl and their 97th consecutive win.

Baseball history

Sydney Uni Baseball Club secured the Club Championship for the first time since 1984 and only the second time since 1914, when they swept UNSW in the final round of the Sydney Winter Baseball League on August 11. Second grade and third grade went on win Premierships, while First Grade finished as grand final runners-up.

Rugby Club wins again

Sydney University Football Club (SUFC) saved their best for last when they won an eighth Sydney Rugby Union Shute Shield competition in their past nine outings with a 51-6 effort over Eastwood at Concord Oval on September 14. It was a fitting end to SUFC’s 150th anniversary celebrations and the conclusion of outstanding careers for Tim Davidson and Tom Carter.

Women’s hockey double

Sydney University claimed back-to-back Metro League 1 titles in Sydney’s premier women’s hockey competition when they defeated arch-rivals Briars 2-0 on the Olympic pitch at Homebush on September 15.

Third in University Games

Sydney University maintained its enviable record of finishing in the top three in every Australian University Games (AUG) since their inception in 1993, after securing a third place finish on the Gold Coast in October’s 2013 Games. There were exceptional results achieved in a number of sports including athletics, cycling, women’s football, women’s taekwondo, women’s touch football and rowing.

Athletics relay success

Image of NSW State Relays

NSW State Relays

Celebrating their 135th Anniversary, the Sydney University Athletics Club (SUAC) produced the most dominant display of track running in NSW Relay Championship history, winning 11 gold medals, two silver and one bronze out of the possible 14 track races in the open division. It was a record breaking weekend of the highest order – two Australian club records, two NSW records, a NSW club record and six SUAC club records were smashed at Sydney Olympic Park Athletics Centre (SOPAC) on November 23 and 24.

Bike race triumph

After taking up co-naming rights on a women’s team in October, the Roxsold Sydney Uni team won the 2013 Logie-Smith Lanyon Super Criterium in Melbourne just a month later. With the help of her teammates, Sydney Uni’s Chloe Hosking delivered a convincing two bike-length victory.