The DCU men’s Athletic team were victorious at the debut intervarsity competition of the year, The Road Relays in Maynooth, however the women’s team had to settle for silver behind a strong Trinity College team.
DCU arrived in the North Kildare town determined to retain both men and women’s titles which they won last year, despite both teams having a few late withdrawals of athletes from the competition due to injury and sickness.
The men’s race consisted of two one-mile legs, and two two-mile legs with an extra three-mile in the middle, with an A, B and C team representing DCU. All three teams started off with a strong and tactical run, placing in the top ten after fine legs from Conor Duncan, Cian McBride and Ruarcan O’Gibne.
Cathal Doyle took over from Duncan and took charge, over-taking five teams that were in front to put DCU men’s A team into first place. This set up Cormac Dalton strongly for the dreaded three-mile run in the middle of the race.
Chairperson of DCU Athletics Cian McBride said: “this is the leg every year where the men’s race is won and lost.”
With two athletes tailing Cormac from NUI Galway and University College Dublin, who represent Ireland on a regular basis, the Mullingar AC athlete needed to maintain a composed head in order to continue the narrow lead.
Brian Fay was up next on the two-mile leg, and remained calm under huge pressure from UCD who were following in second place. The last 800 metres showed off Fay’s fitness and speed creating a 12- second gap back to UCD.
The final leg was run by second year athlete Colin Smith who stepped up his game to record the fastest one-miler of the day in the men’s race and secure gold for the DCU men’s A team.
Both the B and C team continued their efforts to place highly securing a respectable 4th and 9th position.
Three teams represented DCU in the ladies competition, they too were hopeful that they could retain their title. Aoibhinn McGoldrick started strong, leading from the gun and continuing to do so even with the early pressures from Trinity College Dublin and UCD, giving Jodie McCann a three second lead.
Jodie continued the tight lead with a superb run and smooth changeover to Lauren Tinkler, who embarked on her two-mile run where the competition got extremely tough. Two of the top distance runners in Ireland representing Technological University Dublin and UCD ran alongside Lauren tightly in a pack.
The TUD runner exemplified her speed and overtook Lauren, who continued to battle hard. Nadia Power was up last for DCU who stormed around the last mile of the day and the Irish runner claimed the fastest one-mile leg of the day recording a speedy 5.14 for the lap. DCU ladies A finished a plausible second place just behind Trinity who were just too fast on this occasion. Both B and C battled across the course in Maynooth with the B’s securing 6th place and the C team coming 17th.
“Overall it was a great day for the DCU Athletics Academy who headed back to North Dublin with a set of gold and silver medals,” said Cian McBride.
The next event for DCU Athletics Academy athletes will be at the IUAA Indoor Athletics Championship in Athlone in February.
Image Credit: DCU Athletics