IRISH ATHLETES GO IN SEARCH OF NCAA HISTORY
A host of Irish athletes will take to competition stateside this weekend, many of whom will be in action across the NCAA Championships which take place in Albuquerque New Mexico (Friday 10th & Saturday 11th).
Leading Irish contenders include Rhasidat Adeleke who will compete in both the 400m and 4x400m for Texas University. Record-breaking Adeleke will bid to be come the first Irish woman to win a NCAA Division 1 sprint title.
If achieving the feat, Adeleke will become only the 6th Irish woman to win a NCAA title – joining Aishling Molloy (1983 mile), Valerie McGovern (1990 5000m), Sonia O’Sullivan (1991 5000m), Gerladine Hendricken (1992 3000m), and Marie Mcmahon (1996 5000m).
The Tallaght athlete goes into the weekend ranked second following her 50.44NR last month. The time was a NCAA record until Talitha Diggs broke it once again an hour later.
Diggs will line up against Adeleke once again on Saturday. Now owning the collegiate and American record in the 400 meters, Diggs (Florida) will be the favourite for gold.
Speaking in a recent interview Rhasidat Adeleke, who only started to focus on the 400m in recent months, said: "I think she's [Talitha Diggs] been doing the 400m since she was about 12. She has a lot of experience in the event. I don't necessarily see one person as my main rival. Anyone can have a great day and perform. I just try to focus on myself and what I can do. I can't control what anybody else runs. I can only control what I do."
Adeleke will have another medal opportunity as part of the Texas University 4x400m women’s team who take to the track on Saturday.
- Full list of women’s D1 entries HERE
Washington have six athletes entered in the men’s mile this weekend. At least five, if not all six, coulds make the final on recent form. If that's the case, then expect to see Raheny’s Brian Fay to be closing fast coming into the final stages.
Fay will look to emulate Ireland’s Niall Bruton who claimed the NCAA mile title back in 1994, successfully defending it from 12-months previous.
Some other names to look out for across the weekend include Michael Power, Charlie O'Donovan, Shane Bracken, and Abdel Laadjel.