Our season began as it always does in Maynooth on 17th November 2001. As always Paul Davies and all those in NUI Maynooth AC took on the job and we are indebted for their continued association with this event. In the ladies race, UL carried the honours winning decisively in 34 min 52sec. They were followed home by TCD A team in 35min 25sec, and were followed home by their club mates with TCDís B team coming home for a unique double in 36min 5sec.
The indoors were held once again in Nenagh on 7th/8th December and things ran smoothly. TCD won the ladies title with 79 points, and were followed by UL with 60 points and UCD with 53 points. UL won the menís event with a score of 86. UCD were second with 45 points and they were followed by UCG on 42 points. This is the only event the IUAA executive organise on its own each year. We are grateful to all the universities who honoured the commitment of providing officials and look forward to their continued commitment this year.
After an absence of nine years the cross-country championships took place on a beautiful course in the University of Ulsterís Colraine campus on 8th March. In the ladies event† Suzanne McCormick (QUB) took first place and was followed by Fiona Mahon and Katie Duggan from DCU. TCD won the team event with 36 points from last years champions UL on 44 points. DCU filled 3rd place with 69 points.† Bryan Conway returned after an absence of a number of years from university athletics to take the menís title. Gary Murray took 2nd place for the hosts, while David Kelly (NUIG) took 3rd. QUB and UU made sure of a successful day for the Northern colleges by taking 1st and 2nd place in the team event with 90 and 105 points respectively. NUIC took 3rd place with 113 points.
CIT hosted the outdoor track and field this year in Cork (19th/20th April). They are to be commended for the massive effort they put into trying to make the event as professionally run as possible. UL won both team prizes and the overall trophies on offer. NUID and TCD filled 2nd and 3rd position in the ladies race, while TCD and QUB did the same in the menís event. TCD and NUID filled 2nd and 3rd places in the team competition. NUIG scored a notable victory in the multi-event competition breaking ULís stranglehold on this competition over the past few years.
††††††††††† At this years Antrim International meet, the IUAA teams combined to win the overall trophy. Unfortunately I couldnít attend on the day, but was told that team spirit was excellent on the day, and the captains are deserved of special praise for this.
The IUAA AGM was held on 3rd November 2001. The Executive met again at the indoors and during the summer.
This marks the end of my time as secretary of the IUAA and an association with the organisation that stretches back eight years!† In that time the organisation has made significant strides forward. The organisations of our various championships are excellent, and I believe that our track and field championships are amongst the very best held on this island each year. Our online entry system is without rival and is the envy of other organisations. However, progress can sometimes be slow. Many members of the IUAA executive are in positions of immense importance and responsibility in their institutions, and they often find it difficult to make time to carry out some of the tasks that have been set. They need a lot of help which they donít always get, and I would like to make a special plea that if you feel you have the time, knowledge and ability to get involved, why not give it a go? Your help would be greatly accepted and is badly needed.
Had I not got involved in university athletics, I wouldnít have travelled and competed in championships hosted by every university in Ireland. I wouldnít have the memories (or lack of!) of many many great nights at the banquet dinners. I wouldnít have made friends in every corner in Ireland who remain my lifelong friends now even though we have long ago lost our spikes and the prospect of a ten mile training run seems absolutely terrifying. In short I would like to thank the IUAA for facilitating the events which have over the years provided me with a litany of memories that will persist for the rest of my days and remain some of the very best memories I have of my college days.
Yours in Sport
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Keir McNamara
Hon. Secretary IUAA 2000-2002