AUSTRALIAN UNIVERSITY GAMES – GOLD COAST | The University of Newcastle’s Men’s and Women’s Water Polo teams have broken a six-year championship drought after claiming the titles of Australia’s best University Water Polo teams last week on the Gold Coast. Their victories elevated UON’s overall national rank to ninth – the highest since hosting the Games in 2003 – and represent UON’s first Championship pennants since Ten Pin Bowling in 2009.
Featuring World University Games gold medal-winning duo Montana Perkins and Julia Barton, as well as former Australian Junior Georgia McConville and fellow Hunter Hurricanes products Emily Grellman and Laura Robinson, the women’s team dominated the competition making their way through the week undefeated – culminating in a 7-5 Gold medal victory against defending champions Macquarie University.
The men’s team – who also boasted Hurricanes Chris Boyko, Josh Hayes, Ryan Parker, Michale Pfeiffer, Jared Tobin and Jake Robinson – faced a tougher task, needing to overcome Sydney University and the University of Technology Sydney in the finals after suffering narrow defeats to both in earlier round games. A Jake Robinson goal with just 16 seconds remaining sealed a 5-4 victory against UTS and confirmed the University of Newcastle’s second team Gold and top-10 overall finish.
Also strong were the University’s Women’s Rugby 7s team claiming Silver and Men’s Touch with Bronze.
Other outstanding results were recorded for UON on the track and in the pool:
The Central Coast’s Alicia Keir claimed the women’s 400m sprint title, plus Silver in the 800m behind Commonwealth Games runner Anneliese Rubie;
Thornton’s Emily Coppins won Silver in the 200m and Bronze in the 100m;
Terrigal’s Cassandra van Breugel won Gold in the 100m Breaststroke and Silver in the 50m Breastroke
The Australian University Games is Australia’s largest annual multi-sport event – this year attracting over 9000 competitors, support staff and volunteers, with 248 of those from Newcastle and the Central Coast. The Games were held from 26 September to 2 October, 2015 with Sydney University crowned overall winners.