UCD Orienteering Club had fantastic success at the Irish Orienteering Intervarsities, see which took place in the Sand dunes and army base of Tyrella, here Co Down. Despite driving rain on our travel north from Dublin, conditions in Tyrella were fair and crisp when we arrived, and thankfully provided a near-ideal running environment for the strong field of athletes from UCD, Trinity, UCC, and the locals, Queen’s Belfast.
Pre-race speculation had been rife for months beforehand, and placed UCD and Trinity near equal favourites. Despite this competition, UCD’s strength prevailed on the day, spear-headed by the club’s captain Colm Moran, who set a blistering time of 52.16 for the physically and technically demanding course, claiming individual gold, over two and a half minutes clear of the nearest rival, Conor Short of Trinity Orienteers. Further strong running by Laurence Quinn and Cillín Corbett to finish in third and fourth place respectively secured the men’s A-class team gold medal, as well as impressive runs by team debutants Jonathan Quinn and Niall McCarthy.
Not to be outdone by the men, UCD’s women delivered on the day, winning the Women’s A-class team Gold, providing the club with the intervarsity double. A superb run by debutant Róisín Long, first year engineering student allowed her to clutch individual gold, backed up by team mates Niamh Corbett and Mia Falkenthal who finished fourth and fifth respectively. The clean and solid running by the UCD women, all of whom are first year students, provides the club with a great hope of claiming future intervarsity titles in the years to come.
An important aspect of the UCD Orienteering Club is to promoting the sport and encouraging newcomers to the sport. Following on from our popular training weekend in Waterford in mid-October, it was of great satisfaction to see beginners take to the field representing the college. A highlight of this was Andreas Bruckmeier claiming a silver medal in the men’s B category, following a string of impressing performances since September.
Training and Racing will continue through the winter period, and UCD hope to continue to deliver strong performances come spring, when attention will turn to the Irish Club championships. Many of our top runners will undoubtedly be also hoping for national selection for the World and Junior World championships, held in Scotland and Norway.