Nationals Div 1 2019 Recap

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Jahan Emery

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Adelaide University Sport had a successful campaign at the 2019 Uni Nationals Div 1 competition in 2019, held between September 28 - October 3 on the Gold Coast, with University of Adelaide student athletes securing two bronze medals on the weekend before the main section of the competition began, and a gold on the final day of competition.

University Team Manager Thomas Sharpe loved what he saw at the beginning of the competition. “Judo started off the week for The University of Adelaide with Richard Lewis scoring a Bronze in his weight division, and Suzanne Wells doing the same after fighting her way through the repechage.”

The rest of the week saw a full range of results and placings, but most importantly a competitive spirit from the University of Adelaide's students. “With almost 100 Student Athletes representing the University of Adelaide, it was great to see so many new faces at this year’s event.”

Rugby 7s was held over two days, with our team losing their three games on Monday only to come back and win all three of their games on Tuesday finishing 9th overall.

Futsal were unlucky to lose their goal keeper on day one to a dislocated finger. This impacted them heavily having to rotate other players through that position. The boys showed great resilience and managed to finish a respectable 10th in the circumstances, with the injured player managed to take the court in other positions that did not involve contact with hands.

Our rowing team were competing an hour and a half away from the rest of the team at the beautiful Wyaralong Dam, so decided to stay down there as a group. They competed in eleven different events with their best result being 4th in the men’s double scull. While they didn't get a medal, it was a fantastic bonding experience for the group and a chance to compete in an amazing setting.

The University's men and women's hockey teams had mixed results with the men unlucky not to medal and the women performing bravely but unable to win a game. “Hockey was our most represented squad, with two large teams. Unfortunately after topping the pool, the men couldn’t back up their Silver from 2018. That being said, the team showed that they were as strong as ever, and luck didn’t go their way in the Semi-Final.”

Definitely the closest team the University of Adelaide produced in regards to friendship and team chemistry, lawn bowls team came up against some tough competition but bowled with the best of them. Inconsistency cost these students but they still managed to finish in fifth place in what was a very good effort. Thomas believes it was their professional attitude that allowed them to compete with the strong competition. “A special mention goes out to our Lawn Bowls Team Manager, Theo Baker, who braced the heat by suiting up each day for his commitments. With weather around the 25 degree mark each day, Theo showed every other team how it was done with his professionalism.”

Our two fencers Jordan Blanco and Wei Da Ho competed well and were unlucky not to place higher. Jordan came up against the eventual gold medalist on the final day of competition being knocked out in the quarter final, while Wei Da Ho lost 15-14 in an intense bronze medal bout.

Basketball was the team to watch throughout the week, having won the Uni Nationals Div 2 competition earlier in the year. There were some new faces and tall bodies joining an already strong lineup, and after an intense Semi-Final against RMIT where we won by 3 points, the boys found themselves in a gold medal match against La Trobe. “On the final day of competition, our teams fought tooth and nail to finish as high as they could on the leader board. It culminated in the entire University of Adelaide squad making their way to Carrara and cheering on our basketball players. I know how much it meant to the basketball team, and they really put on a show.”

A shaky first quarter had the University of Adelaide cheer squad nervous, but the boys remained calm chipping away in the second, then dominating the second half to finish 95-64 up in the end and becoming the Uni Nationals Div 1 champions. “After taking out Division 2 earlier in the year, the odds were stacked against the men’s basketball team to do the double. No one has ever been promoted after winning Div 2 and taking out the Div 1 Championship, but in the end La Trobe were no match in the final.”

The cheer squad rushed the field and embraced our basketball team in a moment of unity between the different Adelaide University sporting teams. After the match, teams went back to the accommodation for a team dinner where the week's results were shared and celebrated.

Uni Nationals is set to be held in Perth in 2020 where the University of Adelaide will be keen to bring home more medals and create more lasting memories.