Members of DCU Athletics Club got the year off to a perfect start at last weekend at the 123.ie National Junior and U23 Championships in Abbottstown.
The large contingent from DCU took home twenty-nine medals back to campus across a wide range of events.
There was a number of standout performances throughout the day including in one of the first track finals on the programme as Kelly Breen (North East Runners) won her first ever national title, taking gold in the U23 1500m.
Having led from the off Breen kicked for home with 200m to go leaving her opponents in her wake, as she took victory by a comfortable margin.
The DCU success continued in the Men’s races as Seán McGinley (Finn Valley AC) won gold in the U23 category. McGinley, who finished 12th in the U20 race at the European Cross Country Championships in December, showed his class as he stormed to gold. Colin Smith (Mullingar Harriers) crossed the line in second.
Ciaran Carthy (Dundrum South Dublin) was an incredibly impressive winner of the U23 400m. Carthy got to the break with a lead of a couple of metres and managed to hold his form well all the way to the line to take the title.
Matthew Glennon (Mullingar Harriers) also made it to the top of the podium winning the U23 3000m walk.
DCU Athletics excel in the field
There were also numerous gold medals in the field events. Katie Nolke (Ferrybank AC) took gold in the Junior Long Jump. Jordan Knight (St. Joseph’s AC) also impressed in the event taking U23 gold, with a leap of 6.93m.
In the U23 Triple Jump there was wins for Aisling MacHugh and Leon Sweeney, both of whom were representing Naas AC.
Decathlete Jack Forde (St. Killian’s AC) had an extremely busy day winning gold in the U23 Shot Put and High Jump, while also winning bronze in the Long Jump. DCU women’s captain Ciara Kenneally (Killarney Valley AC) took the U23 High Jump title, with Roisin Kellegher (Annalee AC) winning bronze.
There was a DCU one-two-three in the U23 women’s Shot Put as Ciara Sheehy (Emerald AC), Aoibhinn McMahon (Blackrock AC) and Niamh McCorry (Raheny Shamrocks AC) all medalled. Sheehy also took home silver in the Weight for Distance.
Elsewhere at the Athletics Northern Ireland Jumps and Throws meet in Jordanstown on the same day Lauren Callaghan (Finn Valley AC) moved to fourth on the Irish All-Time list indoors with a sensational 6.24m effort in the Long Jump. It represents a massive 32cm PB for the Donegal athlete and will no doubt give her plenty of confidence going into the season ahead.
It promises to be a busy few weeks for club members with some competing at the National Combined Events and Indoor League in Athlone next weekend before the Intervarsity Indoors in the National Indoor Arena, Abbottstown in just less than two weeks’ time.
Full list of DCU Athletics medallists:
Katie Nolke LJ 5.59m
Aimee Doherty 4x200m Relay
Roise Roberts 1500m 4:45.21
Ciaran Carthy 400m 48.53
Kelly Breen 1500m 4:41.39
Sean McGinley 1500m 3:52.78
Matthew Glennon 3000mW 12:51.69
Jordan Knight LJ 6.93m
Aisling MacHugh TJ 10.90m
Leon Sweeney TJ 13.15m
Ciara Kennelly HJ 1.74m
Jack Forde HJ 1.85m
Ciara Sheehy SP 13.55m
Jack Forde SP 12.57m
Niamh O’Neill 60mH 8.84
Colin Smith 1500m 3:54.11
Caoilfhionn Ni Mhadagain PV 2.50m
Jack Murphy PV 3.10m
Aoibhin McMahon SP 12.78m
Ciara Sheehy WFD (28lb) 6.22m
Niamh O’Neill Women’s 60m 7.93
Erin Taheny 200m 26.36
Caoimhe Cronin 400m 56.30
Finn Woodger 800m 1:54.89
Jack Forde LJ 6.29m
Roisin Kellegher HJ 1.55m
Niamh McCorry SP 10.97
Euan Canniffe SP 10.51m
Niamh McCorry 4 x 200m Relay
Image Credit: Sportsfile