THE Irish Universities Athletic Association held its Outdoor Track & Field Championships last Friday and Saturday, heralding the start of the outdoor atheltics season. The event was hosted by UCC and was held at the Mardyke Arena in Cork.
Claire Fitzgerald of Tralee Harriers, competing for UCC, was the outstanding Kerry athlete of the event, winning gold medals in shot, discus, javelin and weight for distance. Her winning throw in the shot equalled the University Associations record of 14.08m.
Other Tralee Harriers athletes who medalled at the event were Sinead O'Connor (CIT) who was second in the triple jump, third in the long jump and also took bronze in the Combined Events. Her winning long jump of 5.10m was a new record for CIT. College and club mate Danny O'Connor took the bronze medal in the Combined Events.
Niall Prendeville, Farranfore / Maine Valley, competing for UCC was third in the 3,000m walk, while Caoimhe Casey from St Brendan's AC and also competing for UCC won silver in the 1500m walk. St Brendan's athlete PJ Galvin, competing for UL, won bronze in the high jump.
The Kerry County Road Race Championships were held in Caherciveen on Sunday with around 50 Athletes from all over the county taking part in the 5km event. Weather conditions on the day were very testing with a very strong facing wind for the first 3km.
It was an exciting race at the front of the field with no one making a clear break in the early stages. There were four men still in contention until the final half kilometre. In the end John Barrett (Gneeveguilla) made a sprint for the line with about 200m to go getting the better of Donal O'Callaghan (Riocht) and Ed Murphy (Gneeveguilla) who were a close second and third. Maria McCarthy (Farranfore Maine Valley) had another fine race in the Senior Women's comfortably winning the title with Catherine Kiely (Gneeveguilla) in second place and Siobhan Daly (Riocht) in third.
One, two, three in Novice Men were Darren Burke (Riocht), Maurice Feehan (Gneeveguilla) and Gearoid O'Driscoll (Iveragh). The novice women's race was won by Grace Lynch (Iveragh) with Allison Kerwin (Star of the Laune) in second place and Deirdre O'Leary (Star of the Laune) in third. Junior Men who took the top three were Arron Quigley (Iveragh), Liam O'Connell (Iveragh) and Andrew Purcell (Gneeveguilla).
The Junior Women's title was won by Bridget Dennehy (Iveragh). Leading the way in the O/35 Men were Tom O'Brien and Tim O'Connor (both Riocht) and Ger O'Shea (Iveragh). O-40 Men winners were George McCarthy (Farranfore Maine Valley), Billy O'Brien (Riocht) and Richard O'Brien (Farranfore Maine Valley).
There were just two winners in the O-45 category, Robert Purcell (Gneeveguilla) took the gold medal just ahead of Willie Guiney (Riocht). O-50 winner was Kevin Griffin (Gneeveguilla), O-55 winner was Michael Mangan (Star of the Laune) and in the O-60 Men Patrick O'Shea (Iveragh) was first and Michael O'Connor (Farranfore Maine Valley) second. Mike Browne (Gneeveguilla) was the O-70 winner.
The O-40 Women's event was won by Cathriona Barry (Farranfore Maine Valley), Mary O'Connor (Riocht) was second with Mary O'Connell (Gneeveguilla) in third place. O-45 Women's winner was Caroline Murphy (Gneeveguilla), O-50 winner was Ann Mangan (Star of the Laune) and O-55 winner was Joan O'Sullivan.
Star of the Laune athlete Aoife Doyle won a bronze medal in U16 girls shot, with a throw of 10.47, at the All-Ireland juvenile indoor championships in Athlone on Saturday, April 6.