Dublin City University Athletics enjoyed tremendous success at the IUAA Cross Country Championships on March 3rd at Abbotstown with all three titles going to DCU.
DCU retained the overall best college title for an unprecedented 14th time in 15 years with the ladies team triumphing over UL in a close race, their heroic display was matched by the men as they retained their team title with a staggering 10 DCU athletes finishing in the top 25.
“It was unbelievable to get the double for the college and really showed the work we’ve put in over the past few months,” men’s team captain Michael Carey said. The Tipperary native finished eighth just behind Eoin Strutt in seventh and Kevin Kelly in fifth as DCU easily retained the men’s 8000m title.
The DCU high finishers did not stop there with Jonny Whan finishing in 10th, Adam O’Brien in 12th, Gary Campbell in 14th and Damien Murphy in 15th. Other high finishers include Niall Cornyn, Pádraig Moran and Eoin Durkan.
“Our main emphasis at the start of the season was to get everyone training together twice a week for the sessions where everyone could work off each others and push each other on,” Carey said. The success also comes with the majority of the team also eligible to compete next year.
Carey spoke about how proud he was of the team performance as the men recorded 56 points on the day with nearest challengers UCD on 80 points. “Every one of them left everything they had on the course packing nine men in the top 20. A very young team giving DCU one of the lowest ever winning scores and with much more to come.”
The women’s’ performance was equally impressive as former captain Mary Mulhare was inspiring, finishing third to help the team triumph by just four points over UL. Elizabeth Carr and Harriette Robinson were equally impressive finishing fifth and ninth in the chasing packs.
Strong performances with Niamh Corry’s late charge to finish 12th, Orla Boland in 18th place and Niamh Quinn finishing in 20th helped seal victory for the ladies despite IT Tralee’s Shona Heaslip and UL Olympian Michelle Finn finishing in first and second respectively.
“(It was a) fantastic run by the women’s team who really gave it everything and work as a true team on the day and set the bar high for the men’s team,” Carey said.
“The women’s team ran unbelievably and 100% fired up the men’s team to do the exact same thing. News broke about the win by one of out supporters while we were lacing up our spikes so we didn’t have much time to celebrate and focus again before we’d be toeing the line ourselves.
“Preparation for both teams was very good, we had great groups for both the men’s and women’s team out in force each week under the lights in DCU Sports Grounds. In the week leading up to the event we lost a few of our key runners due to injury but we didn’t leave that phase us too much,” Carey continued.
Carey was also quick to praise their coaches and attribute a lot of the success to their hard work. “Special mention to Enda Fitzpatrick and Anne Buckley for their work with both teams throughout the year. One of the main reasons DCU brings home the titles year round is down to these two,” he said.
“Both teams have a lot more in the tank so I’m really looking forward to the outdoors in April and to what next year can bring. Big shout out to our one year downs who lead the way and have given so much to DCU in their time here,” Carey said.
Next up for DCU will be the IUAA track & field championships in Cork IT on April 7th & 8th. Congratulations and of course best of luck to both the men and women’s teams in April.