Intervaristy more than a game for students

By Charlie ‘Tex’ Sheldon

The 2009 Australian University Games were held last week in the sunny Gold Coast. “Beautiful weather one day, perfect the next”, and didn’t the city put on a show for us!4 x 400m at Uni Games

After a rowdy Sunday morning flight with the entire Melbourne University Games Team, we arrived in Surfers Paradise and checked into our hotel. For many of us, this was the first opportunity to mingle with new members of the Melbourne University Games Track Team, consisting of representatives from The White Train (the distance team), Manfred’s Army (the sprint team), as well as fresh faces from other Athletics Victoria clubs.

From the outset, there were two disparate methods of preparation for competition: one focused on carbo-loading and staying hydrated, while the other focused on a liquid diet of the alcoholic variety.

Competition commenced bright and early on Tuesday morning, and with stellar performances from Sophie Barker (1st in the women’s 3000m Steeple-Chase) and Tom Barnes (1st in the men’s 5000m walk), Melbourne University was off to a great start.

David Ulbrick’s effort in the 10000m on Wednesday to finish in 6th place under the 30°C sun was sensational, as was Domagoj Vodanovich’s 1500m, 5000m, and fast finishing 200m in the Medley relay. Jordan Mayston moved quickly in the 800m and 400m and showed potential for the up-coming track season. Charlotte Curnow ran well in the 5000m (5th place) amid her busy schedule as a Pentathlete. [Editor’s note: The author neglects to mention his heroic 10000m race that ended with a collapse into Sophie Barker’s arms and a trip to the hospital.]

The sprinters and jumpers competed well over the three days. Notable standouts were Katherine Clarke (1st in the women’s 400m), Sam Read (2nd in the men’s Pole-Vault), the women’s 4 * 400m, 4 * 200m and Medley relay teams (2nd ,2nd, 3rd), Corinna Minko (1st in women’s Long-Jump and 4th in Triple Jump), Kendra Hubbard (3rd in women’s 200m).

I once heard that Kris Lam, a Melbourne Uni regular representing ACU in the Gold Coast, arrived just minutes before his 5000m race on Thursday morning. Kris was well prepared, arriving with no bag, no water bottle, already wearing his waffles, still drunk and dehydrated from the night before, and sleepy after taking two sleeping tablets to calm his nerves just an hour before his race. Kris finished the race, and his efforts (or lack of on the Tuesday and Wednesday) managed to keep the team entertained throughout the week.

Overall Melbourne University Track had a successful week, with our women’s team claiming 3rd position and the men’s finishing in a respectable 10th place.  Many thanks to the Team Coach/Manager Terry, and driver’s Duke and Justin for all their efforts. Well done Melbourne  Uni Track and Field Team!