JANE Buckley’s dream rookie year at Providence College has just got even better: the Newcestown teen has raced away with her college’s Female Athlete of the Year for Individual Sports award.
In her first year at the American college in Rhode Island, the 19-year-old West Cork athlete has turned heads with a string of eye-catching performances, including her historic women’s 6k win in the Big East Cross Country Championship; she became the first Friar freshman and second freshman in conference history to win this race.
At Providence College Athletics Department’s recent annual all-sports gala, Jane was unveiled as the Female Athlete of the Year for Individual Sports, having starred with the college’s cross-country and outdoor track teams.
Even though she only left West Cork last August to start her scholarship at Providence, Jane hit the ground running in her first year. As well as her Big East victory, she came third in the NCAA Northeast Regional to lead the Friars’ team to a first place finish, while her 49th place finish at the NCAA Cross-Country Championship was the highest for a Friar since 2015.
Jane also won the 3000m at the Friar Invitational, setting a personal and facility record of 9:09.78, and recently she was part of her college’s 4x1500m team that won gold in the Champions of America Division at the prestigious Penn State Relays. Jane, who ran the first leg. and her team-mates won the race in a school record time of 17:11.35, and it was Providence’s first win in the event since 1991.
Jane, who started her athletic career with Bandon AC before moving to Leevale, has also impressed for Ireland, and finished a superb fifth (just 18 seconds behind the winner) in the women’s U20 race at the 2022 European Cross-Country Championships in Turin.