Seven medals were won by Team UniSA at the inaugural Uni Nationals Div 1 event on the Gold Coast in September.
There were a number of fantastic individual performances with all the medals being won in athletics or taekwondo, in addition to some great results in the team sports, with two teams retaining their position in Div 1 for 2019.
UniSA had 50 team members compete across six sports on the Gold Coast, 15 of which were on UniSA’s elite athlete register.
The squad was led well during the week by team captains Justin Gassner (cycling) and Abbie Martin (basketball).
At the inaugural event, there was a high level of competition across all sports. UniSA had a team of eight on the athletics track, growing in numbers from a team of three last year, and several medals were won amongst the group.
Sam Russell won a silver medal in the 1500m, Calern Adams jumped to silver in the triple jump and Tayla Philis earned a bronze medal in the 400m hurdles. All of their teammates finished in the top 10 of their respective events.
In Taekwondo, Taliah Hillier won a medal for the second consecutive year, earning a silver medal in her sparring competition. Lalita Tembang, Ashley Knights and Scott Tay all won bronze in their sparring competitions, which meant every member of the Taekwondo team went home with a medal.
On the tennis court, it was a tight competition and the boys had a tough start in their strong pool, losing a few close matches. However, they bounced back on day three of competition winning both games 5-0 and went on to dominate their final match to win 5-0 again and finish fifth overall, retaining their position in Div 1 for 2019.
UniSA’s women’s basketball team also retained their position in Nationals Div 1 next year, after convincingly beating Western Sydney University in the seventh-place playoff. That followed some high-quality games throughout the week, including a nail-biting one-point win against the University of Newcastle in their first match.
The men’s basketball team only just missed out on retaining their position in Div 1 after finishing ninth overall, with the retainer being the top eight. They finished on a high, beating the reigning champions, the University of New South Wales, in their playoff match.
Our cyclists competed hard in the 80km road race and criterium amongst highly competitive fields. Justin Gassner finished ninth out of 52 in the road race and backed it up with a 12th place finish in the criterium, while Daniel Siwek finished 37th in the road race and 15th in the criterium.
Kendo was held on the first two days of competition and our team of five competed strongly in what was, for some, their first competition experience.
Earlier this year, 15 students represented UniSA at UniSport Nationals Div 2, also held on the Gold Coast. UniSA competed hard in women’s volleyball and mixed netball at the inaugural event in July.
All UniSA team members gave 100 percent throughout the competitions and represented the University in a positive light. Thanks must go to the team managers, coaches and support staff who provided assistance to all competitors, as without them, Team UniSA’s involvement in the event would not have been possible.