Bright and breezy conditions were the order of the day at the Irish Universities track and field championships at the Athlone IT track on Friday and Saturday. The meet was staged against the backdrop of the new indoor track which is making serious progress and will be a welcome addition to athletics facilities in this country.
In spite of the wind athletes were generally very happy with their performance, and for most it was a welcome break from study.
Clare Bergin (ICAI) won the 400m in a time of 53.77, the fastest time on Irish soil this season so far. She was happy with her time, but will now take a break from racing until mid-May. Jessie Barr (UL) chased her home in second in a time of 55.66, having earlier won the 400m hurdles in 58.19.
Chris Russell (DCU) won the men’s 400m in a time of 49.04, a new PB for him, with John Huston (UU) second in 49.32. Russell has had enough of the quarter and will spend the rest of the season racing 100m and 200m.
Ciara Mageean (UCD) scored an effortless double when winning the 800m in 2:11.18 and the 1,500m in 4:32.01. She plans to spend the next few weeks concentrating on her studies, before her attempt in Rabat to make the Olympic 1500m A standard.
Mark English (DCU) was another to make winning seem effortless when he won the 800m in 1:52.64, with Brian Kelly (DCU) second in 1:54.09. English plans to race over 800m in Manchester (BMC) at the start of May.
Steffi Creaner (DCU) won the 100m in 11.96 (+2.3), and later chased Amy Foster (UU) home in the 200m. Foster won in 24.24 to Creaner’s 24.49.
Tim Crowe (UL) won the 400m hurdles in 53.55, just ahead of Paul Byrne (DCU) second in 53.80.
Clare Fitzgerald (UCC) won the shot, discus and javelin, while Deirdre Ryan (DCU) won the high jump with 1.70m.
In the men’s long jump Eamon Fahey (TCD) had a jump of 6.98m in the third round which was good enough to win the competition. His only other recorded jump was in the second round with 6.27m. David Quilligan (UCC) had his best jump of 6.86m in the last round, but it was only good for second.