IUAA Road Relay Championships Preview
We are one day out from the first IUAA event of the year! As has become tradition, the Road Relay Championships will take place on the autumnal South Campus of Maynooth University, where athletes will battle it out for both the Women's and Men's team titles.
With 70 teams entered, composed of over 350 athletes from 13 universities, this edition of the Road Relay championships is set to be the largest since the championships were first held in February of 1987. That Saturday morning in 1987 saw Thomond College of Education win both races of the day, a feat that UCD have managed to replicate in both 2021 and 2022, and certainly won't hold back from trying to assert their dominance once again this week!
Last year's women's race saw UCD's teams claim both 1st and 3rd place on the podium with DCU claiming silver. This year's TCD and DCU women's teams will pose a serious challenge to UCD's double-title ambitions and the order of the podium is sure to remain uncertain until the final leg. Danielle Donegan and Kate Nurse from last year's winning team will be accompanied by Roisin O'Reilly and Aoife Coffey to make up the UCD team. DCU will be fielding a strong team composed of Faye Dervan, Avirl Millerick, Amy Greene and Roise Roberts as they look to reassert their dominance since only winning one women's team title since their 9 year winning reign came to an end in 2013. TCD will also have their eyes on the top spot having only taken that honour once in 2019. Eavan McGloughlin held off Nadia Power (DCU) to anchor the 2019 TCD winning team and is back this year as a one-year-down. the rest of the TCD team will be composed of IUAA indoor medallists Karen Hayes and Sophie Jackman and 2022 IUAA XC silver medallist Celine Gavin. Holly Carrol and Emma Murray both ran strong legs last year to secure 4th place for UCC and will be sure to also be aiming for a podium finish this year as they are reinforced by Avril Cashman and former UCD athlete Eimear Maher.
The women's race will start at 12.45 with 29 teams toeing the line to tackle the 1-2-2-1 mile format race.
The UL men's team put on a dominant show on home turf last year to win the IUAA XC Championships, and being the only university to have beaten both UCD and DCU in the past 20 years at Road Relays one can be assured that they will once again be aiming for the top spot on the podium. However, UCD will remain the favorites for the title as they field a star-studded team composed of Mark Milner, Jonas Stafford, Darragh McElhinney, Cian McPhillips, and Luke McCann. DCU will also be fighting for a place on the podium with IUAA Steeplechase record holder Sean McGinley leading the team of Harry Colbert, Daniel Stone, Cathal O'Reilly, and Finn Woodger. Last year's bronze medallists UG as well as a strong team from TCD are also sure to be aiming for podium positions.
The men's race will start at 13.45 with 41 teams toeing the line to tackle the 1-2-3-2-1 mile format race.