The sport of athletics dominated the national headlines in mid-August with the stunning performances of several Irish athletes at the European Athletics Championships in Munich.
People across the country became increasingly familiar with names such as Ciara Mageean, Mark English, Israel Olatunde, and Rhasidat Adeleke who all played a major part in Ireland’s success.
Some faces you may see around campus in the next few weeks and months were also in the thick of the action across the summer months.
DCU athletes once again featured on Irish teams proving the strength of the university’s high-quality athletics setup.
Jack Raftery was one such athlete.
Raftery, who is a third-year engineering student, had a breakthrough couple of months.
The 21-year-old got his season underway in Belfast in May clocking 46.44s for the 400m to take the win at the Irish Milers Club Meet. Before the month was out, he would move inside the top ten Irish athletes in the event all-time when he ran a stunning 46.17s in Belgium.
His early season performances were rewarded with a place on the Irish 4x400m Mixed Relay team at the World Championships in Eugene, Oregon in July, where he was joined by DCU Alumni Sophie Becker.
The performances of the Irish teams in the event in recent years meant a final spot was the target and the team achieved it with a seriously impressive performance in the heat.
The final would come later in the day with the Irish finishing in eighth. They will feel that there is plenty to build on in the years to come and Raftery will be looking to maintain his space in the squad.
Mark Smyth won the national 200m title in June after a difficult start to his season. He then played an integral part in ensuring that the Irish 4x100m relay team qualified for the European Championships.
Unfortunately, it was not to be for Smyth and the team as they failed to get the baton around in the heat but like Raftery, Smyth will be looking to build on a solid year heading into 2023.
DCU Athletics members shine on domestic scene
On the domestic front several DCU athletes won medals at the National Championships. Matthew Callinan-Keenan won gold in the Pole Vault, Michaela Walsh won double gold in the Hammer Throw and Shot Put, while Jennifer Hanrahan was part of the Dundrum South Dublin team that won the women’s 4x100m relay.
Silver medals went to Brendan O’Donnell in the Hammer, Siobhan Doherty in the 5000m Walk and Aine Burke in the 3000m Steeplechase.
Grace Casey and Daena Kealy won bronze in the Javelin and High Jump respectively.
DCU athletes will now turn their attention to the Road Relays in Maynooth in November.