The University of Melbourne has broken all records by winning ten Australian University Championships at the 2008 Australian University Games (28 September – 3 October). The Games, held in Melbourne for the first time since 1998, saw some 6,500 participants compete across 28 sports in some of the best facilities in the country.
Team Melbourne won their ten national university championships in the Division One sports of Australian Football (Men); Baseball; Cycling; Fencing; Judo; Kendo; Netball (Women); Squash (Men); Taekwondo; and Volleyball (Women).
The Australian Football team has won six of the past nine Australian University Championships and was led by Box Hill Hawks captain Alastair Neville and North Ballarat VFL premiership player Myles Sewell.
The Baseball team dominated the competition, winning their five games by an average of 11 runs.
Up-and-coming Drapac Porsche cyclist Daniel Braunsteins also led a dominant cycling team that included his brother Peter, World University Championship mountain-biker Lachlan Norris and VIS riders Toby Dite, Chloe McConville and Livia Gluchowksa. Daniel won gold in the men’s Road Race, Pairs Time Trial (with brother Peter) and the Individual Time Trial – he was second in the Criterium. Chloe McConville won gold in both the women’s Road Race and Pairs Time Trial (with Madeleine Oldfield). Remarkably, this was the seventh consecutive Australian University Championship title for the University’s cycling team.
Melbourne University Fencing Club stalwart Simon Summerfield led our fencers to back-to-back national titles with a team that included Commonwealth Fencing medalist Catherine Mackay and 2008 Beijing Olympic Modern Pentathlete Angela Darby.
Strong performances from the entire team resulted in a clean sweep of the martial arts inspired Australian University Championships with victories in Judo, Kendo and Taekwondo.
Women’s Netball left nothing on the court and had two ferocious battles with arch-rivals VU and Monash in the preliminary games, losing to VU by three and defeating Monash by just one goal. But the finals were a different story, with the team led Alice Stephens and Samantha Holt defeating VU by four goals in the semi-final and defeating Monash by a whopping ten goals in the gold medal match. This was the second successive Australian University Championship in women’s netball.
The smallest competition at the Games was in Squash, but the performances on-court by our University of Melbourne students was huge. Undefeated in their eight preliminary games, the James Kavourakis-led team defeated Monash in the gold medal match 27 games to one. And rounding out our gold medalists was women’s Volleyball. The new-look team, missing star player Neira Borcic who was playing with the Australian team the Asia Cup, dropped only three sets along the road to a three – nil victory over Monash in the gold medal match.
Director of Sport Alex Affleck was especially proud of the team’s results.
“To win ten national university championships against quality opposition is a fantastic effort. These results are a credit to our strong sporting club culture at the University, to our Sport Development staff at Melbourne University Sport and to the many volunteers that assisted with the management of our teams”, said Mr. Affleck.
In addition to our ten gold medals, Team Melbourne was national runners-up in women’s Athletics, men’s Badminton and men’s Football (Soccer). We also placed third nationally in 14 sporting competitions and finished fourth in Australia in another four sports. For a complete breakdown of results, click here.
The University’s ten Australian University Championships at the Australian University Games, in addition to national championships already won in Surfing and Snow Sports earlier in the year, have the University of Melbourne well placed to be crowned Australian University Sport Overall Champions for 2008.
Congratulations to all of our 2008 inter-university sporting representatives, and a big thank you to our volunteer team managers, coaches and our outstanding group of management and sports medicine personnel.
- END -