Bond University swimmers set Perth’s HBF Stadium alight last week with a dominant showing at the Unisport Nationals.
The thirteen-strong team earned 221 points over the week-long competition, a whopping 125 points clear of second-placed University of Sydney.
Bond University Swimming Head Coach Chris Mooney was rapt with the grit shown by the team of nine women and four men who made the trip west.
“We had a couple of number one rankings heading into the event but they are just numbers on a piece of paper at the end of the day,” he said. “The clear message was to take nothing for granted, to race for each other, and to race really, really tough.”
Mooney said it wasn’t necessarily all about wins.
“If you’re travelling fifth, you should strive for fourth, or if you’re coming sixth, you should do what you can to scramble a fifth,” he said. “The way our team scrapped and fought all meet for extra points was so inspiring. The team spirit among the whole group was very special.”
Much was asked of Bond’s male swimmers with just four competitors spread across a full program.
They didn’t disappoint.
Ben Armbruster (Sports Management), who won Commonwealth Games gold in Birmingham last year as a member of a 4x100 mixed relay team, swept the backstroke and butterfly events. Freestyle speedster Ed Speller (Business) fell a whisker short of repeating the feat in the sprint events with a near-thing second in the 100m to accompany wins in the 50m and 200m. Armbruster and Speller then joined forces with Toby Street (Transformational Entrepreneurship) and Ky Codd (Business) to sweep the men’s relays.
Bond’s female contingent was equally impressive.
Olympian Laura Taylor (Exercise and Sport Science) had an extraordinary meet with wins in the 100m and 200m butterfly and 200m, 400m and 800m freestyle. Dual Commonwealth Games representative Minna Atherton (Biomedical Science), herself a mixed relay gold medallist in Birmingham in 2022, swept the women’s backstroke events. Abby Schoorl (Law) also swam strongly with wins in the 50m and 100m freestyle.
Coach Mooney was in awe of his swimmers.
“They are students first and foremost and swimmers second. The way they combine both the demands of both workloads really is admirable.”
The focus for Bond University’s elite swimmers is now the World Short Course Championships in Melbourne in mid-December.