Queen’s Athletics made the trip down to Dublin undoubtedly hoping to replicate their previous successes at the Indoor Championships earlier in the year. There were a number of Queen’s representatives ranging across a variety of competitions, and any expectation of success prior to the event was certainly fulfilled throughout the day.
Jonny Browning and Andrew Mellon won gold during the Indoors, however they began the day frustrated, as they were both pipped to the finish line and finished as close runner-ups during their respective races. It took a photo finish to separate Andrew and the front-runner during the men’s 200m, and the agony of just missing out on back-to-back golds would undoubtedly prove as motivation for the pair to make amends in the 4x100m relay later in the day.
Kathy Hetherington began the morning strongly as she set her sights on a podium finish in the Women’s Discus. After placing second before the elimination cut-off she then went on to secure her place on the podium, finishing third and adding another medal to the collection Queen’s had already acquired throughout the day.
One of the performances of the day was undoubtedly Neil Johnston who ran a truly testing and grinding 5000m. An assured and steady start saw Neil placed just ahead of the middle of the pack as an early run-away leader attempted to set the pace with a tight cluster of runners a few hundred yards behind him. However as the race progressed towards the latter stages, the leader pulled up and it became a true test for the leading three runners including Neil. A late push saw Neil end the race strongly, and he managed to claim another silver medal after firmly playing his part in an extraordinary spectacle for those who looked on in the stands.
A first-place finish, which had so far eluded the society’s grasp, was finally delivered in the men’s 4x100m relay. Queen’s went into the day clear favourites to pick up the gold during this event after easing to victory during the qualifiers the night before. It was indeed Jonny Browning who flew out of the blocks as Queen’s gained a formidable lead early in the race. The baton was passed on cleanly each time, and Andrew Mellon bolted out in-front towards the finish line, much to his delight and everyone from Queen’s who watched on as the race proved a pulsating pinnacle to the day.