Friday 7th February saw Dublin University Harriers and Athletics club compete in the IUAA Intervarsity indoor track and field championships at the new AIT International Arena, Athlone. Overall, 5 college records were broken and 5 medals were won from a competitive field of both national and international standard athletes, making it one of the most successful championships for Duhac to date.
Unlike outdoors, indoor athletic meets are run on a 200m track, with a 60m straight for sprinting which cuts through the centre of the lap. The track events consisted of distances from 60m up to 3000m as well as the 60m hurdles, while competitions in all field events, with the exception of the javelin, discus and hammer throw, took place on the day. A total of 29 athletes represented Duhac. on the day in what was the first intervarsity track and field event of the year.
One of Duhac’s greatest successes of the day was thanks to long jumper and sprinter, Éamonn Fahey, breaking two college records. He became the first male athlete of the club to break 7 seconds for the 60m sprint, finishing in a time of 6.99 in his heat, before finishing 8th in the final. Competing in the triple jump, Fahey broke the Trinity record with an impressive distance of 13.23m (5th). Showing his all-roundedness, Fahey came 4th in the long jump with a distance of 6.74m.
Duhac Ladies’ middle distance squad performed very impressively, with 3 medals and 2 college records from two events. International cross country athlete and intervarsity outdoor 3000m champion, Maria O’Sullivan, showed her class in the 3000m event, braking off with the leading pack from the start and finishing in 2nd place in a college record breaking time of 9:52.15. In the 1500m event, Becky Woods (OYD) and Irene Gorman grabbed silver and bronze in what was one of the most exciting races of the day. Woods, leading for the majority of the race in what was a gutsy performance, managed to hang onto 2nd place and take the college record in a time of 4:37.44. The gold medal went to Ellie Hartnett (UCD) who broke the IUAA record (4:34.94). Gorman, who has only recently returned to competition since long term injury, made a tactical and inspiring performance, accelerating through the field in the final two laps to earn the bronze medal. Her time of 4:38.12 was an astonishing personal best, taking 10 seconds off her previous PB.
New members Rob McDowell and Samuel Olo made a large impression at indoors in their debut competition for the college. McDowell competed in no less than 4 events (60m, long jump, shot putt, weight for distance) winning bronze in the WfD with a distance of 7.79m. Olo broke Trinity’s indoor 200m record in a time of 23.16, just five minutes after it was broken by Kevin Migge (23.45) in a previous heat.
The 5th medal for Duhac was one by no other than our ‘busiest’ athlete and current AAI National Indoor Combined Events champion, Laura Frey, who took silver on the day, as well as making a new personal best of 3087 points.
Many other great performances were seen throughout all disciplines on the day from athletes such as Kevin Migge (200m and 400m) Cónal Campion (shot putt and WfD), Sorcha Humphreys (3000m), Caitríona Twomney (Combined events) and Christopher Doherty (Pole Vault).
The combination of experienced athletes, rising new talent and strength in depth is paying off for Trinity Athletics, and has made the upcoming events look very promising for D.U.H.A.C.. The Harriers are in action next in the Intervarsity Cross Country Championships in CIT on March 8th, while Track and Field athletes will be preparing for the IUAA Outdoor Championships taking place in WIT on April 11th.