Charlie o donovan
Charlie O'Donovan leads the pack home in the men's mile at the Big East Indoor Track & Field Championships in Chicago. 

COLLEGE: 2 Irish winners at Big East meet

Villanova’s Charlie O’Donovan and Butler’s Barry Keane won individual events at the Big East Conference’s Indoor Track & Field Championships in Chicago. O’Donovan, a grad student from Cork won the men’s mile with a time of 3:58.07. Keane, a grad student from Waterford, was first home in the men’s 5,000 meters, timed in 13:45.37. 

“It is pretty special,” O’Donovan said of setting a Big East record in the Mile. “I wasn’t focused on the time at all. It was more so about getting in there and trying to win. To be a Big East record is pretty cool. I eased up towards the line to enjoy the moment because I have been in a position many times where I should have won this race before and I didn’t. It is my last indoors at Big East, so it was pretty special for it to come together.”

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The season came to an end for Abigail Rafferty and her DeSales teammates in the second round of the NCAA Division 3 tournament via a 75-69 loss at home to Mary Washington. The junior from Dungannon, Co. Tyrone notched her sixth double-double of the campaign, scoring 22 points (6-of-18 from the floor, 10-of-11 from the foul line) and hauling down 13 boards. In the previous game, a 78-60 win over Mitchell, Rafferty scored 14 points, took down nine boards and blocked five shots. She made seven of 11 field goal attempts. She finished her initial season in the U.S. with a 10.5 points per game scoring average, while she took down 8.4 caroms per game for the Bulldogs (27-2). 

“I’ve never been a part of a team like this before,” Rafferty said. “Everyone had each other’s backs, which I appreciate a lot.” 


Silas Sunday shot 3-for-3 from the floor in nine minutes of action in Iona’s 80-78 road victory over Rider on Saturday. The 7-foot freshman from Lucan, Dublin also brought down seven rebounds as the Gaels (24-7) finished the regular season. 

It wasn’t the singing voice of a fat lady but, rather, a referee’s whistle that told Ryan Leonard that his collegiate career was over. The St. Mary’s (Tex.) senior from Tralee, Co. Kerry left the floor after his fifth personal foul in the Rattlers’ 66-61 season-ending loss to Texas A&M-Kingsville in the quarterfinal round of the Lone Star Conference championship in Frisco, Tex. on Friday. Leonard scored 11 points on 5-of-10 shooting from the field, including 1-of-5 from long range. St. Mary’s finished the season at 15-13. 

Sam Alajiki dropped in four of five shots from the floor, including both three-point tries, and one of two free throws for a team-high 11 points as California suffered an 84-51 drubbing from Oregon in Eugene on Thursday. He is a sophomore from Dundalk. The Bears are 3-28.

Coker finished its season on Wednesday in the quarterfinal round of the South Atlantic Conference tournament with a 100-73 loss to Lincoln Memorial. Freshman Jamie Muldowney from County Laois scored nine points, making three of six shots from the field, including two of three from the next zip code, and one of two free throws. The 6-7 forward started 18 of 29 games for the Cobras (12-17) and averaged 6.6 points per game off 41 percent shooting. 

Killian Gribben scored eight points as Siena suffered a 73-72 overtime loss to St. Peter’s in Jersey City on Saturday. The freshman from Letterkenny, Co. Donegal converted four of five field goal attempts and grabbed four caroms as the Saints dropped to 17-14. 


Aine Donegan, a sophomore from Ennis, Co. Clare, overcame a first-round 76 to post 70 in each of the next two rounds and help Louisiana State to the team title in the Darius Rucker Intercollegiate at Long Cove in Hilton Head, S.C. She tied for 13th place, three strokes over par and eight off the medalist, Mathilde Claisse of South Carolina. There was a seven-woman logjam at 6-over-par 23rd place, which included Auburn’s Anna Foster, a junior from Dublin, who shot 74, 76, 69, Arizona State freshman Beth Coulter from Ardkeen, Co. Waterford, who shot 71, 77, 71, and Wake Forest senior Lauren Walsh of County Kildare, who shot 73, 71, 75. 

Sara Byrne of Miami (Fla.) took a share of 17th place in the Gators Invitational at the Mark Bostick Golf Course in Gainesville, Fla. The sophomore from Douglas, Cork posted rounds of 74 and 70 to finish four strokes over par and 11 strokes off the co-champions. Annabel Wilson of UCLA shared 60th place at 154 (79-75). A semifinalist in last year’s U.S. women’s amateur, Wilson is a senior from Lurgan, Co. Armagh. 


Jack Madden of Arkansas State tied for 15th place in the Lake Las Vegas Intercollegiate at Reflection Bay in Henderson, Nev. The senior from Dungannon, Co. Tyrone shot rounds of 74, 73 and 68 to finish the event a stroke under par and 10 behind medalist Owen Stamper of Middle Tennessee. Madden led the Red Wolves to a fourth-place finish in the 15-team field. 

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