Shows Members of DCU Athletics team take part in the IUAA Inter Varsity Day 2023
DCU athletes at the IUAA Track and Field Championships. Pic: Kyran O'Brien/DCU

DCU reassert their dominance of Irish University Athletics

Report by Rory Cassidy

It was a weekend to remember for DCU Athletics as their dominance of Irish university athletics continued in Dundrum South Dublin Athletics Facility at the IUAA Track and Field Championships in April.

The strong contingent from the club made their way to Dundrum South Dublin’s fabulous new track in Taylorsgrange looking to retain the titles they had won in Carlow last year.
A number of DCU’s top talents produced sensational performances across the weekend breaking IUAA and DCU records.
One of the standout performances came from third year student Jack Raftery. Raftery lined up in the Men’s 400m as the favourite to take gold after he won the IUAA and national senior indoor titles over the distance earlier this year. Fellow DCU athlete Ciaran Carthy was seen as his main rival for gold having ran the quickest heat time of 47.76s on Friday.
With the rain pelting down the athletes settled into their blocks and when the gun went Carthy made the much stronger start leading the field through 200m. It wasn’t until the home straight when Raftery managed to move up on his shoulder before striding past him and kicking for home to take gold in an extremely impressive time of 46.59s, knocking over 0.5s off the previous IUAA record in the process. Carthy held on for second clocking 47.34s.
Another DCU man who entered the record books was Donegal fresher Sean McGinley. McGinley impressed in the Men’s 3000m Steeplechase moving into the lead with a kilometre to go before running a blistering last lap. He dipped two seconds under the 37-year-old championship record but arguably more importantly for him secured qualification for the European U23 Championships in Finland in July. McGinley stopped the clock at 8.56.90.
Michaela Walsh who was competing as a One Year Down (OYD) athlete in the DCU colours added yet another IUAA record to her name in taking gold in the Women’s Shot Put. Walsh added 38cm to the previous best throwing a massive 14.86m. She was joined on the podium by fellow DCU athletes Ciara Sheehy and Aoibhín McMahon who won silver and bronze, respectively.
Several other DCU records were also broken over the course of the championships, arguably none more so impressive than Mark Smyth’s blistering run to take 200m gold. In awful conditions and into a very strong headwind of -1.6m/s Smyth showed his class to run a time of 20.95s.
In the Men’s 3000m Walk Matthew Glennon produced an excellent performance to take silver in a DCU record of 12.25.29 behind UL’s Oisin Lane.
Sarah Lane made a welcome return from injury to take down the DCU women’s 800m record. Lane finished incredibly strongly over the final 200m to close down and ultimately overtake teammate Emma Moore. Lane walked away with bronze in a time of 2.11.77, while Moore had to settle for fourth.
No fewer than 19 gold medals returned to DCU after the two days of competition.
Another athlete who mounted the top of the podium was Siobhan Doherty who won the 1500m walk title from teammate Eva Delahunt.
Katie Nolke delivered a fine performance in difficult conditions to take 100m Hurdles glory, while Avril Deegan was a class above the rest of the field as she strode home to win the 3000m gold.Jack Forde was on fire across two days of competition winning the combined events and High Jump, claiming silver in the Pole Vault, and also taking bronze in the 110m Hurdles.
Matthew Callinan-Keenan was the man who beat Forde to Pole Vault gold, clearing 3.80m.
Brendan O’Donnell took hammer gold, while Euan Canniffe and Aoibhín McMahon won the men’s and women’s javelin competitions.
Also throwing their way to gold medals, were Ciara Sheehy (discus) and Zoe Mohan (Weight for Distance). Aisling McHugh was the best of the female triple jumpers, finishing ahead of Kim O’Hare (OYD).
In the relays there was gold for the DCU Men’s 4x100m team of Michael Farrelly, Mark Smyth, Charles Okafor, and Nkemjika Onwumereh. Okafor returned about an hour later to help the 4x400m team to gold where he was joined by Eoin Quinn and the prolific duo of Ciaran Carthy and Jack Raftery.
The Women’s 4x400m relay also powered their way to gold with Caoimhe Rowe, Emma Moore, Aimee Doherty and Caoimhe Cronin coming together strongly.
All in all it meant that DCU were crowned women’s team champions for the 16 th year in a row, men’s team champions for the 15 th year in a row and overall team champions for the 15 th year in a row also.
The jumps, throws, middle distance, and combined events trophies also make their way back to Glasnevin, after phenomenal performances from one of the university’s top performing clubs.

Full list of medallists


  • Mark Smyth - 200m (DCU Record)
  • Jack Raftery - 400m (IUAA RECORD)
  • Sean McGinley - 3000mSC (IUAA RECORD)
  • Jack Forde - HJ
  • Matthew Callinan-Keenan - Pole Vault
  • Brendan O’Donnell - Hammer
  • Euan Canniffe - Javelin
  • Jack Forde - Combined Events
  • 4x 100 Relay (Michael Farrelly, Mark Smyth, Charles Okafor, Nkemjika Onwumereh)
  • 4x 400 Relay (Charles Okafor, Eoin Quinn, Ciaran Carthy, Jack Raftery)
  • Ciaran Carthy - 400m
  • Finn Woodger - 1500m
  • Matthew Glennon - 3000m Walk (DCU Record)
  • Harry Colbert - 5000m
  • Cathal O’Reilly - 10000m
  • Leon Sweeney - TJ
  • Jack Forde - PV
  • Jordan Knight - Combined Events
  • Michael Farrelly - 100m
  • Jack Forde - 110mH
  • Eoin Quinn - 800m
  • Adam McInerney - 3000m Walk
  • Jordan Knight - TJ
  • Jordan Knight – HJ


  • Aisling McHugh - TJ
  • Siobhan Doherty- 1500m Walk
  • Katie Nolke - 100mH
  • Avril Deegan- 3000m
  • Michaela Walsh - Shot Put (IUAA RECORD)
  • Ciara Sheehy - Discus
  • Aoibhín McMahon - Javelin
  • Zoe Mohan - WFD
  • 4x400m Relay (Caoimhe Rowe, Emma Moore, Aimee Doherty, Caoimhe Cronin)
  • Caoimhe Cronin - 400mSiobhan Whelan - 1500m
  • Eva Delahunt - 1500m Walk
  • Amy Greene - 3000mSC
  • Aoife O’Cuill - 5000m
  • Katie Nolke - LJ
  • Kim O’Hare - TJ
  • Ciara Kennelly - HJ
  • Ciara Sheehy - Shot Put
  • Aoife Hernon - Hammer
  • Grace Casey - Javelin
  • Ciara Sheehy - WFD
  • Maeve Hayes - Combined Events
  • Aoibhín McMahon - WFD
  • Aoibhín McMahon - Shot Put
  • Áine Burke - 3000mSC
  • Kelly Breen - 1500m
  • Sarah Lane - 800m (DCU Record)