The IUAA has had another great year. After a great start, things started to go horribly wrong with the advent of foot and mouth in the country. Thankfully, except for one case in Louth, all our cloven foot animals kept a clean bill of health and sport in the country resumed after a short lay off! Thanks to NUI Maynooth, NUI Dublin, and The University of Dublin for hosting this years championships.
Our season began as it always does in Maynooth on 11th November 2000. Once again Paul Davies and all those in NUI Maynooth AC took on the job and we are indebted for their continued association with this event. Numbers were down in the women’s race, but it was an excellent race nonetheless, with UL scoring a decisive victory for the second year in a row. The UCC men won their forth title in a row and seventh in eleven years when taking their latest title.
The indoors were held once again in Nenagh on 1st/2nd December. Thankfully we had electronic timing on both days this year and things ran smoothly. Once again, UL dominated proceedings, winning both the men’s and women’s events. The University of Dublin and Queens finished 2nd and 3rd in the ladies, while NUI Dublin and the University of Dublin filled the same positions in the men’s. This is the only event the IUAA executive organise on its own each year. We are indebted to all the universities who honoured the commitment of providing officials and look forward to their continued commitment this year. Well done to Margaret O’Halloran (NUI-Dublin) who set a championship best in the pole vault (2.81m).
After a couple of false starts due to foot and mouth, the cross-country championships went ahead on NUI Dublin’s Belfield campus on 7th April. UL completed a clean sweep in the ladies, filling the first four positions and being led home by their captain Elizabeth Egan. The University of Dublin and Dublin City University finished 2nd and 3rd, respectively. The UL men were not to be outdone either in winning the men’s team prize and breaking NUI Cork’s domination of the event of late. Gary Thornton, NUI Galway powered to victory in the men’s race. Naturally, UL made off with “The Badger” trophy for the first time!
The University of Dublin hosted the outdoor track and field this year in Santry (20th/21st April). They are to be commended for the massive effort they put into trying to make the event as professionally run as possible. The new entry system which had been tried in Nenagh was given a rigorous going through here and worked well, and looks to be here to stay. This is a first, in athletics in Ireland! UL won all trophies on offer, bringing their total to as unprecedented eleven last season. The only one that eluded them was the men’s road relay prize. The University of Dublin equalled the effort they were putting in on the sidelines to take second teams in both the women’s and men’s, their best finish in years. Unfortunately the incidents of an official being verbally and physically abused, and an inappropriate letter that was read out at the captains meeting, took away somewhat from what was otherwise a great occasion.
The annual International Triangular Track and Field meeting took place in Antrim in mid-June. It poured rain, for not the first time at this event, and both IUAA teams finished behind the NI U23 selection. The party that evening shifted to Belfast, where a great night was had by all accounts.
The 13th World Student Track and Field Games took place in Beijing, China in August. The athletics team manager was Patsy MacGonagle, and was assisted by Tim O’Connor. A total of twelve Irish athletes competed, six of whom regularly compete in IUAA championships. The highlight of the event was our first medal since Sheffield, which was won by Gareth Turnbull in 3.44.21. We were very close to a second in the event, when James Nolan was in the lead coming into the straight, but pulled up. Rosemary Ryan was unlucky not to be in the medals when finishing 4th in the 5000m, while other highlights included 9th places for Aoife Byrne (800m) and Paul McGee (400m). Mark Howard set a national U23 record of 20.88 in the 200m rounds on his way to 10th overall. The World Student cross Country Championships take place in Spain next spring. The IUAA’s Dave Maley has been selected as manager for the second time running.
The IUAA AGM was held on 21st October 2000. The Executive met again at the indoors, track and field and during the summer in Earlsfort terrace. They are in constant contact via email and phone during the year representing your interests. Attendance at captains meetings tended to waiver a bit from initially having been good. I encourage every club to attend as important decisions are made at these meetings. Thanks to all the clubs for their help and co-operation to date.
Yours in Sport
Keir McNamara (Hon. Secretary IUAA Oct 2000-Oct 2002)