Murray and DCU win gold in Athlone

DCU won the overall competition at the Irish University Indoor Track and Field Championships on Friday, February 12th in Athlone.

DCU topped both the male and female points tables winning 33 medals in total, 13 gold, 11 silver and nine bronze. Sarah Murray contributed two of those gold medals and was delighted with how things went, setting a new personal best of 7.46 seconds in the 60 metre race.

“I kind of went out to run my own race, I wasn’t really expecting to win, I was shocked at the time and the record is a bonus,” Murray said.

Murray not only won the 60m race, setting a DCU record in the process but she was also part of the 4 x 200m relay team who won gold beating off their nearest rivals from Cork Institute of Technology and Trinity College.

The Dublin native trains six times a week and feels the wins at the weekend are a testament to all her hard work.

“It is nice that everything is paying off now, I’ve done this for so long and it was a big personal best at the weekend so I was delighted,” she said.

All the training and hard work doesn’t affect her college work however as she has been “doing it for so long”.

“I’m used to it now, doing it throughout my time at school and growing up it is normal to me,” she added.

Having won the overall competition for the ninth year in a row, Murray believes it is a sign of the talent within DCU.

“The DCU team is very strong at the moment, the men’s and the women’s,” the 23-year-old said.

The DCU female team topped their points table having won six gold, five silver and five bronze medals, translating to 116 points, twice that of second placed University of Limerick on 58 points.

Points are awarded seven for gold, five for silver, four for bronze. Three, two and one are awarded to fourth, fifth and sixth respectively.

Similarly the men’s team topped their table as six gold, six silver and four bronze medals had them on 108 points, 58 ahead of UL again.

Sarah Murray (60m), Lilly-Ann O’Hara (60m hurdles), Sophie Parkinson Brown (8kg weight for distance), Emily Rogers (high jump), Sarah McCarthy (long jump), Sarah Buggy (triple jump) and the 4 x 200m relay team of Sarah Murray, Catherine McManus, Sarah McCarthy and Katie Berney were the gold medal winners for the female team.

While Antonio Garcia Fernandez (60m hurdles), Conor Duncan (800m), Pierre Murchan (3000m), Michael Bowler (combined events), James Kelly (shot put) and Colm Bourke (long jump) won gold on the men’s team.

302 athletes altogether took part in 32 different events in the annual indoor track and field championships which were being held in Athlone for the fourth year in a row.

The cross-country championships are the next big inter-varsity event and will be held on March 5th in Sligo but most of the athletes who were competing in Athlone will next compete at the outdoor track and field championships to be held in DCU mid-April.

Cormac O’Shea

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