UP-TUKS CLINCHES THE 2014 VARSITY ATHLETICS TITLE AT TONIGHT’S FINAL, HELD AT THE TUKS ATHLETICS STADIUM

A fitting end to a season of nail-biting excitement and adrenalin filled action

 Varsity Athletics 2014

Pretoria – 28 April 2014 – UP-Tuks emerged victorious at tonight’s final of the 2014 Varsity Athletics Programme. Held at the Tuks athletics stadium, it proved a fitting venue for the concluding leg of a season that has witnessed not only superb performances across both track and field, but outstanding crowd participation. The momentum and fever-pitch excitement witnessed from the very first event at NMMU, and which has continued unabated at subsequent events held at both UJ and Maties, reached a deafening crescendo this evening, with teams from universities around the country giving it their all in this, their last chance of the season.

The University of Pretoria, UP-Tuks, came out strongly not only as tonight’s winner but also as overall winner in this year’s Varsity Athletics Programme.  Not only have UP-Tuks finished first in every meeting this season, but tonight’s win sees them claiming their seventh consecutive title having now placed first in all seven years throughout the history of Varsity Athletics.

The women’s team from UP-Tuks gave the home crowds plenty of reason to scream and cheer as they took home four of the five track titles on offer at tonight’s event. With the exception of Melissa Hewitt, NWU-Pukke who raced to another win in the 100m this evening in a time of 11.72, the UP-Tuks’ women’s track team clearly showed their dominance. The 400m hurdles saw defending champion and record holder, Anneri Ebersohn run a season’s best of just over 57 seconds with team mate Anuscha Nice taking the 800m title in a time of 2:08.78. The final lap in tonight’s 3000m came down to a bit of battle between defending champion Caroline Marandela from UJ, TUT’s Thembi Baloyi and UP-Tuks’ Stella Marais.  But in the end it was Marais who sprinted away to take the title in front of her home crowd. The 4x100m relay proved a fitting end for the women’s track events as UP-Tuks, who looking in complete control the entire race, gave the crowds another win on home ground.

But the men’s track events proved a bit more of a challenge for the team from UP-Tuks, with

UFS-Kovsies taking home two of the tonight’s wins. Kovsies’ Rynhardt van Rensburg took home first place in the men’s mile snatching victory from NWU-Pukke’s Jerry Motsau in the last few moments of tonight’s race, with team mate Wayde van Niekerk finishing first in the men’s 400m with a time of 45.37.  But it was ultimately UP-Tuks who proved their mettle with wins across both the 200m, 110m hurdles and 4x100m relay.  Firm favourite Akani Simbine dominated from the start of the 200m with his only challenger Gideon Trotter, UFS-Kovsies.  But it was ultimately Simbine who crossed the finished line first, accompanied by deafening screams from the home crowd.  Kobus Moolman retained his title in the 110m and in the 4x100m relay, Akani Simbine led the home side to a fabulous win resulting in a clean sweep this season.

The field events saw a mix of winners tonight.  Dewald van Heerden, UJ, threw 54.98 in the men’s Discus to finish first ahead of UP-Tuks’ Orazio Cremona who finished second with a throw of 54.05. UFS-Kovsies’ JVA Steytler took home a win in the High Jump with a jump of 2.08 and Maties’ Boipelo Mothlathlego finished first in the men’s Triple Jump ahead of local favourite, Dwayne Boer, UP-Tuks. In the women’s field events, UJ and NWU-Pukke each took home two of the titles with wins by Patience Ntshingila in the Long Hump and Lezaan Jordaan in the Shot Put with a distance of 15.92.  NWU-Pukke’s Megan Milke emerged victorious in the javelin with her throw of 49.98 with team mate Nanette Stepelberg clearly winning the Hammer Throw with a distance of 55.80.

“The 2014 Varsity Athletics Programme has exceeded our expectations,” says Duitser Bosman, CEO of Varsity Sports.  “The commitment from each participating university, together with overwhelming crowd support, has created action-packed evenings, leading to a very memorable few weeks,” continues Bosman. “The athletics programme will be a tough act to follow and we are grateful to all involved for contributing to its success.”

The Varsity Sports concept, borrowed from the very successful USA college sports programme, combines the highest standards of university sports with high-octane excitement. The recipe works well – the proof of the pudding, as they say, is in the eating and this is exactly what both the competitors and spectators did. They ate up the excitement, soaked up the adrenalin-packed programme and visibly enjoyed every minute of the non-stop action during the exciting and eventful evening.

The Varsity Sports events are designed to deliver hard-and-fast action; competitiveness at its best – add a lot of noise, bright lights and passionate support from the stands, and you have a recipe for success. “And it’s a recipe that clearly works,” says Trent Key, Marketing and Sponsorship Executive for Varsity Sports when reflecting on the 2014 Varsity Athletics programme.  “Our congratulations to every participating university and individual performance over the last few weeks,” continues Key.  “And a big shout out to UP-Tuks on taking home this year’s title.”

The Varsity Sports Programme entered its second successful year in 2014, during which time, the participating universities have been competing across six sporting codes. In addition to the athletics programme completed this evening, men’s hockey will take place from 3 to 19 May at Wits University in Johannesburg, Stellenbosch, Bloemfontein and Johannesburg (UJ).The start of the season will see all eight hockey teams (Maties, Rhodes, UFS-Kovsies, UP-Tuks, UJ, UCT-Ikeys, NMMU and Wits) competing at the University of the Witwaterstrand. Hold onto your seats and if you can’t be there, be sure to watch the drama unfold by following all the Varsity Sports action on SuperSport channel 210.

03-May

1

Hockey

NMMU

vs

Kovsies

10:00

WITS

2

Hockey

UCT

vs

Tuks

11:45

3

Hockey

UJ

vs

Rhodes

13:30

4

Hockey

Wits

vs

Maties

15:15

04-May

5

Hockey

UCT

vs

Rhodes

11:00

WITS

6

Hockey

NMMU

vs

Wits

12:45

7

Hockey

UJ

vs

Kovsies

14:30

8

Hockey

Maties

vs

Tuks

16:15

05-May

9

Hockey

UJ

vs

Tuks

13:30

WITS

10

Hockey

Maties

vs

Kovsies

15:15

11

Hockey

Rhodes

vs

NMMU

17:00

12

Hockey

Wits

vs

UCT

18:45

10-May

13

Hockey

Rhodes

vs

Tuks

13:30

KOVSIES

14

Hockey

Kovsies

vs

Wits

15:15

11-May

15

Hockey

Wits

vs

Rhodes

14:30

KOVSIES

16

Hockey

Kovsies

vs

Tuks

16:15

12-May

17

Hockey

Rhodes

vs

Kovsies

14:30

KOVSIES

18

Hockey

Tuks

vs

Wits

16:15

10-May

19

Hockey

Maties

vs

UCT

14:00

MATIES

20

Hockey

UJ

vs

NMMU

15:45

11-May

21

Hockey

Maties

vs

NMMU

17:00

MATIES

22

Hockey

UJ

vs

UCT

18:45

12-May

23

Hockey

NMMU

vs

UCT

17:00

MATIES

24

Hockey

Maties

vs

UJ

18:45

17-May

25

Hockey

Rhodes

vs

Maties

10:00

UJ

26

Hockey

Kovsies

vs

UCT

11:45

27

Hockey

Tuks

vs

NMMU

13:30

28

Hockey

UJ

vs

Wits

15:15

18-May

29

Hockey

7

vs

8

11:00

UJ

30

Hockey

5

vs

6

12:45

31

Hockey

SEMI FINAL

14:30

32

Hockey

SEMI FINAL

16:15

19-May

33

Hockey

3/4 PLAY OFF

17:00

UJ

34

Hockey

FINAL

18:45

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