Silver lining at Nationals Div 1

ACU athletes shone at the UniSport Nationals Div 1 event at the Gold Coast where the team won 10 silver and two bronze medals.

The medal-winning performances were just the tip of an outstanding collective effort from the 135 students whose competitive endeavours were underpinned by pride, dignity and respect.

“I am really proud of the way ACU has adopted the new Nationals model and I can't wait to see the way it develops over the next few years," male team captain Carl Williams said.

The restructured Nationals were this year split into two flagship events, UniSport Nationals Div 1 and 2, and a series of standalone competitions throughout the year.

The inaugural Div 1 championship, held at the Gold Coast from 22 to 27 September, featured the top 10 universities in 33 sport competitions contested across men’s, women’s, mixed and open categories.

There was a heightened focus on performance, with ACU backed by an elite approach and a support team that included first class coaches, team physiotherapist Jordan Craig, nutrition advice and volunteer sports trainers.

ACU’s 12 medals came from a variety of sports and disciplines. Silver medals were won by the women’s beach volleyball pairs, men’s fencing, women’s water polo, women’s softball, women's taekwondo. A further five silvers were won in the pool. Brisbane Cheer Club and the women’s taekwondo came home with bronze.

ACU had some stellar performances in team sports which included making three gold medal matches. The women’s water polo team fell by one goal to Queensland University of Technology, while the women’s softballers were runners-up to Macquarie University. The women’s beach volleyball pair were edged out by University of Queensland.

Excellent individual performances included a men’s sabre fencing silver to Matthew Tadros and a combined five medals in the swimming to Nathan Zhu and Madison Thompson.

ACU’s Elite Athlete and Performer Program (EAPP) provided 26 members of the team.

“We’ve seen some amazing team spirit displayed over our week at Nationals Div 1,” female team captain Haylee Mayes said. “The way all the teams came together and supported one another was amazing and really shows how ACU stood out from the rest.”

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