By Ronan Duggan
The DCU men’s team returned to the summit of inter varsity athletics when comfortably claiming gold at the recent cross country championships at Waterford IT.
Once again, DCU’s men’s team toed the line under significant pressure from WIT and a resurgent UCD which in fact managed to overcome DCU at the recent road relays.
DCU, however, delivered a redemptory performance in putting paid to any doubts surrounding the team’s overall strength. Led home by John Coghlan, who recently clocked sub four minutes for the mile in Boston, the team packed well with Emmet Jennings in fourth, Darren McBrearty in eighth, Jayme Rossiter in 13th, Darragh Greene in 15th and bringing the team home as the final scorer was Mark McDonald in 21st place.
The team effort proved sufficient for the top spot on the rostrum but only by seven points ahead of the host college, with UCD taking bronze.
Not surprisingly, Coghlan was the stand out DCU performer in securing his first cross country title with consummate ease. Indeed, encapsulating Coghlan’s dominance on the day was his 14-second winning margin over training partner Daire Bermingham (DIT).
There was to be no such joy for the women’s team however, whose ten year reign as cross country queens came to an agonising end.
Superb runs from Ciara Mageean (1st) and Ciara Everard (3rd) ensured UCD claimed the spoils with DCU assuming the unfamiliar role of bridesmaids in collecting silver.
The ever improving Laura Behan was the first DCU athlete across the line in 5th with Ciara Durkin (10th), Mary Anne O Sullivan (11th) and Susie McManus (14th) packing well for the team.
Attention now shifts to the outdoor track and field championships where DCU will attempt to defend their men and women’s titles. In what has been a turbulent year for DCU athletics with two losses so far this year, they will be looking for strong team performances on the track. The Dragons have been wounded, but will be ready to rain fire and return to their all conquering form in Athlone IT on April 21st.