Although the Christmas break halted the continuation of athletics in Trinity College, two of Duhac’s leading athletes were keeping busy in athletic competition. Both Laura Frey (combined events) and Maria O’Sullivan (cross country/ long distance) won very impressive titles in their respective athletic disciplines over the holiday season.
January 4th saw O’Sullivan, a Raheny Shamrock athlete and captain of Duhac Ladies’ Harriers, represent Ireland in the U23 Celtic Cross Country Challenge Race at the Iaff international cross country event in Greenmount, Antrim. This 5.6km race was ran in conjunction with the women’s senior international event, in which some of the world’s greatest cross country athletes took part. O’Sullivan stormed to victory in the Celtic Challenge in impressive fashion, finishing in a time of 19:28: over 40 seconds ahead of Welsh athlete Natasha Cockram (20:10) who took silver. This win has added to O’Sullivan’s growing number of titles. In the last 12 months she has become Intervarsity 3000m champion and National Intermediate Cross Country champion. She will hope to build on this in weeks to come, when she will be taking part in the Intervarsity Indoor Championships:“It’ll be my first time doing indoors so I’m really looking forward to the experience. Hopefully I can perform as well as I did in Antrim over the Christmas break.”Overall, O’Sullivan was fourth Irish woman home, finishing in a well-deserved 12th position. On Saturday January 11th, Laura Frey, Duhac Ladies’ Track and Field captain and a member of Lagan Valley Athletics club, took gold at the AAI National Indoor Combined Events Championships in Athlone.
The discipline consisted of five events over the day: the 60m hurdles, high jump, long jump, shot putt and 800m. Frey got off to an ideal start, finishing 1st in the hurdles in a time of 10:11. However, wins from Sarah Mesloh in the shot putt event and Karen Dunne in the long jump threatened Frey’s lead. After four events Frey was marginally ahead of Dunne and Mesloh by 29 and 31 points, respectively. In the end, however, Frey performed valiantly in the 800m, finishing 1st in the 800m race (2:30.52) to secure the national title. She finished with a total of 2,869 points, while Dunne had to settle for second on 2,821 points:“I’m really pleased with the result, a great way to start the season with lots to work on for summer but hopefully there’ll be more good performances to come!”
Frey won the combined events at the Iuaa Intervarsity Outdoor championships last April, a title which she will wish to retain this spring. The two ladies captains have set a great example for Duhac and for the college, which has encouraged the members of the club to step up to the plate for the next upcoming intervarsity competitions. The Iuaa Intervarsity indoor track and field championships will take place in AIT International Indoor Arena in Athlone on Saturday February 7th. O’Sullivan and Frey will be amongst the twenty or so competitors representing Duhac on the day. Frey hopes to continue her impressive winning success in the combined events discipline while Maria will be looking to add the 3000m title to her growing record.