After Unisport Nationals was cancelled in the height of the pandemic in 2020, our athletics team was incredibly ready to take on the best student athletes from across Australia at Sydney Olympic Park last week.
The UNSW team was small in number, but mighty in results, finishing with five gold medals and two silvers - an incredibly impressive feat from a team of just eight athletes.
Overall in the rankings, the UNSW women finished fourth of the 25 competing universities - just 0.5 points behind the University of Melbourne in third place. Our men's contingent was much smaller, but still managed a 10th place finish.
UNSW Athletics Club treasurer Anastasia Williams was incredibly proud of the effort and fight her team showed throughout the event.
"The 2021 uni nationals was a really exciting time for our team," she said. "With the event being cancelled last year it was great to see so many new and returning athletes."
Williams finds it difficult to name a highlight from the incredible array of great performances, but singles out James Tirado's double gold in the 200m and 400m para events as a particularly exciting moment.
"We also had Jess Thornton, Sophia Cibei and myself win our respective events taking out the 100m, 100mH and pole vault," she said.
The team had plenty of success in the women's relays as well, winning silver medals in both the 4x100m relay and the 4x400m relay.
"Jess Thornton stole the show in her final leg in 4x400 showing the quality of the team," Williams said.
With Thornton in the mix for the upcoming Tokyo OIympics, it was an excellent event for her and the entire team.
"Overall it was an amazing effort were the whole team were proud of each other," Williams said.
UNSW Blue Les Gonye attended the event with some of the proud alumni of the UNSW Athletics Club and was incredibly impressed with the strength of the team.
"There was a reunion to catch up with my contemporaries from the University of New South Wales Athletics Club to mark the 40th anniversary of our first track and field intervarsity victory plus to cheer on the current generation of athletes," he said.
"There was plenty to cheer about! It was especially great to see 'Wales' had a very competitive women’s team."