For the tenth successive year, DCU Athletics Academy won the IUAA outdoor track and field championships.
DCU were comfortable winners of the event that took place in the University of Ulster’s Mary Peters track on April 10th and 11th with the University of Limerick coming in second place and UCD in third.
The two-day event saw DCU come home with a total of 46 medals; 21 gold, 20 silver and five bronze. Male athletes accounted for 20 of these medals while female athletes came home with 26 medals in total.
DCU also led the points table by some distance on 325 points, with second placed UL on 119 points. The points were awarded as follows: seven for 1st, five for 2nd, four for 3rd etc. for individual events and ten for 1st, eight for 2nd, six for 3rd etc. for relay events.
As well as winning the overall competition, DCU were winners of Middle Distance trophy, Sprints trophy, Throws trophy and Jumps trophy while Michael Bowler in combined events and Sarah McCarthy in the long jump set new IUAA outdoor track and field records.
One of the stars for DCU was Stephanie Creaner, who won both the the 100m and 200m races as well as being part of the 4x100m relay team with Sarah McCarthy, Bronywn Keogh and Sarah Murray that won gold for DCU for the second successive year.
Creaner, a final year Psychology student, expressed her delight with DCU’s performance when she spoke to The College View. “Winning an IUAA title is a huge achievement, but winning it 10 years in a row is really something special and it’s a testament to all the hard work and dedication of the talented DCU athletics squad”
Reflecting on her personal performance, Creaner added, “I was really happy with my performances. [I won] three events and three golds so I can’t complain. Timewise, my performances were quicker than expected as I want to peak later in the season, so I actually didn’t have any speed work done and I only did one block session, so to think to run as fast as I did was a surprise.
“Going into it, I knew I was in good shape and I wanted to perform well for the college, so I had a goal and I achieved that so I’m happy.”
Having been champions for nine consecutive years, DCU were heavily favoured in the competition but Creaner doesn’t take anything for granted and believes the standard of competition is as high as ever;
“Yes, this has been the case for the last ten years, but let me tell you, this is no easy feat. In order to achieve such a record, it requires the coming together of hard-working and dedicated individuals.
“At Varsity level, in my opinion, the standard is always high. You can only compete against those who show up.”
Creaner was also full of praise for both the training in DCU and the facilities at their disposal: “In DCU, there are specific coaches for different disciplines including John Shields and Leona Byrne for sprints and Dave Sweeney for throws, to name a few. Every good athlete has a fantastic team around them.
“The University has provided the athletes with adequate support, facilities and the means to fulfill their potential. Look at the sporting facility we have over in St Clare’s; if it’s good enough for IRFU, it must be up to standard.”
Creaner herself is trained by both Ken Robinson and John Shields and praised them for their hard work throughout the year.
There are over 100 members of the DCU Athletics Academy and Creaner believes they have an abundance of talent in their ranks: “There is huge depth of talent in DCU and has been for many years but I think as a unit we’re just getting stronger and stronger, so I expect the winning streak will continue, here’s to the next decade.”
Up next for Stephanie Creaner is the World Relay Championships in the Bahamas in May, but the Irish team will travel to Florida first for a training camp before jetting out to the Caribbean a week later.
That will be followed by the World Student University Games in South Korea, for which she expects to qualify. “My personal best is only 0.02 [seconds] off the standard so fingers crossed.”