Students Storm IUAA Championships 2024

Students Storm IUAA Championships 2024

Like the NCAA in the States, the IUAA is one of the premier athletics competitions in the country, featuring top level competition between the best upcoming Senior, Junior and u23 athletes in Ireland. The competition is going through a boom period now and the standards were absolutely sky-high across the events. It’s the ultimate sign of success in the sport that an athlete is still competing and improving through the College years so it’s very encouraging that so many Craughwell AC athletes were on display in the spectacular setting of Mary Peters Track, undoubtedly Ireland’s finest track even in the midst of Storm Kathleen.

1500m – Oisín and Helena

In the 1500m, Oisín Davis of UG came into the weekend from a good block of training but little in terms of racing. Given that storm Kathleen was blowing clothing and timing equipment all around the track it was always going to be a tactical affair. In the Semi-Final on Friday, Oisín did the least he could, finishing in 4th place as last auto-qualifier in 4:05.

If you don’t want spoilers, watch the finals at the direct link below with completely unbiased and surprisingly excellent commentry from UG teammates Aaron Brennan and Jack Maher. (IMO the current crop of young Galway Athletes are a class apart, not only in how they train and compete, but even more so in how they all support each other with such great positivity):

Finals Men’s 1500m Ft. Oisin

The finals on Saturday featured a stacked field, filled with national champions, european cross country and national senior medallists. Nobody wanted to lead into the gale, but Oisín found himself in the lead right from the gun with the entire field stacked up sheltering behind his magnificent flowing locks. Nobody moved around until there was 800m to go when it really started to ramp up. First IUAA XC and U20 Champion Niall Murphy went past, followed by 4:01 miler Callum Morgan and a bunch of others. Oisin reacted to the surge stayed on the pace in the Bronze medal position until 200m to go when National Senior 800m Silver medallist Dara Donoghue and some others flew past. Oisin rallied on the home straight with a strong kick to finish 4th, just 0.2s behind the classy Murphy of UL. Despite the drag from his volumous hair, Oisín’s last 800m was under 2 minutes – fantastic running.

In the women’s 1500m, there was a straight final and Helena O’Keeffe of UL was incredibly brave to go off the back of the lead group for the first 2.5 laps, running 4:50 pace (~3:18/km). When the surge came, Helena got separated from the group and had to fight the gale alone but held it together excellently to finish 13th in 5:07.70.

Finals Women’s 1500m (Ft. Helena)

Caron Smashes PB in 3000m

Caron Ryan representing UL smashed her PB and the club record in the 3000m running a fine 10:31.60 for 7th place. It’s great to see the popular Caron get back into top shape, despite the load of life as a busy Medical Student.

Caron blazes to PB in 3000m

Jade Makes Fantastic Debut

Jade Moorhead made a fantastic debut in the IUAA competition for University of Galway, coming a superb 5th in the High Jump with a leap of 1.56m on her 2nd Attempt despite the gusting conditions.

Jade Moorhead 4×100 Relay (3rd leg):

Jade ran her heart out in the 4x100m relay. Running in the 3rd leg, she showed a fantastic turn of pace to help her team to 5th place in the final in a fine 50.56s.

800m: Administrators 1 Athletes 0

In the 800m, Kyle Moorhead can consider himself the unlucky recipient of a harsh lesson, as he was beaten by an administrative ruling off the track.

Kyle cruised through to the 800m final looking extremely strong and in control finishing 2nd in his Semi-final in 2:00.30. Watch his qualification below:

Kyle Moorhead Semi-Final 800m:

The 4x400m relay is one of those events where the distance runners are often called to help out and Kyle was listed as a member of the team. The 4×400 relay team checked in on Saturday but one of their members pulled up with an injury before the race so the team didn’t compete in their heat.

Unfortunately because of the no-show, the listed members of that team were DQd not only for that event but all events on the competition – even on the following day. This is apparently per rule-14, page 11 of the Athletics Ireland handbook so depending on the interpretation, may be right for the letter of the law, but does seem harsh given the expense of travel and three night’s accomodation in hotels in Belfast. Anyhow.. lesson learned!

[Reading the rule again, it’s not clearly worded for this case – the “including relays” refers to future events, but it’s not explicit that being a listed member of a relay team would impact individual events since the team itself is entered and typically final confirmation of athlete names may be up to the last second – in this case, the athlete didn’t personally check-in or indicate final confirmation of participation so to my (albeit biased) view the ruling was a tad harsh.].

Other direct event links:

Oisin Davis Semi-final 1500m:

Interview with Kyle and Oisin:
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