UCC Athletics success at IUAC
By Ciarán Dee
The Irish Universities Athletics Championships took place last week on the 5th and 6th of April, in Athlone Institute of Technology. UCC travelled to the event with a well-seasoned group of athletes taking home 2 gold, 3 silver and 4 bronze medals.
UCC’s best performances of the weekend came in 800m events. Cillian Kirwan and Louise Shanahan both took gold in the men and women’s events, respectively. After winning silver at the indoor university championships Cillian wanted to go one better and gave an exhibition in middle distance running, coming through the field magnificently in the last 200 metres, and producing a sublime sprint finish in the home straight to claim the gold medal in a time of 1 minute 53 seconds. Louise Shanahan also finished second at the indoor championships and would settle for no less than gold. Louise sat comfortably in the pack for the first 500 metres and unleashed a devastating kick with 300 metres to go, leaving the field in her wake, claiming gold in a time of 2 minutes 13 seconds.
UCC claimed a total of 6 medals (3 silver and 3 bronze), in the jump’s events. First up was Laura Cussen who took bronze in the women’s long jump event with a new personal best of 5.56 metres, losing out on the silver medal on countback. David Cussen (Laura’s brother) took silver in the men’s high jump, with a clearance of 1.90 metres, before going on to claim bronze in the men’s long jump with a jump of 6.72 metres, only a few hours later. Only recently back from injury, Maria Carey put in a superb performance in the women’s triple jump, taking silver with a jump of 11.24 metres. First year student, Ciara Hickey, secured silver for UCC in the women’s pole vault, going over 3.40 metres and setting a new UCC record in the process. Una Samuels claimed bronze in this event with a new personal best clearance of 3.00 metres.
Ruairi Kennedy toed the line in the 3000 metres men’s walk to secure yet another bronze medal for UCC in a quality field.
The women’s 4x100m relay team were very unlucky not to medal in the event, missing out on a podium position by the smallest of margins.
UCC parathlete & Quercus Scholar Mary Fitzgerald competed in the discus & came away with an Irish Record in the F40 women’s shot put.
Other notable performances from the weekend: Shona Lowe (women’s 200m) – 6th; Ciarán Dee (men’s 400m) – 8th; Grace Furlong (women’s long jump) – 5th ; Aoife Delargy (women’s 800m) – 5th .
The UCC team finished 6th overall in the medals table, a commendable team performance by all who competed over the course of the weekend. Special thanks also to all the coaches who set aside time to travel over the two-day event.