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Reports - September 2007


26 September » 19 September » 12 September » 5 September »

26 September 2007

Seven up-and-coming young athletes from Dromiskin-based St Peter's AC, surely one of the country's most progressive athletics clubs, travelled to Poland last week for a very successful five-day training camp. The St Peter's athletes were accompanied by four coaches from the club, and two other young athletes from neighbouring mid-Louth club, Ardee and District AC.

The athletes who travelled to the city of Poznan in western Poland were Sorcha Conway, Linda Galligan, Hilary Kerr, Ann McCartney, Olivia McDonald, Kevin McManus and Laura O’Neill from St Peter's, and Mark Cunningham and Barry Faulkner from Ardee. All these athletes were selected for the trip based on their commitment to training and on-the-track performances. The St Peter's coaches who accompanied the athletes were the chief trip organiser, Maria Duffy, along with Kathleen McConnell, Tom McGrane and Anne McGuinness. The club's other coach, Angela McDonald, had also been due to travel, but unfortunately had to withdraw due to illness.

The group had planned to train under the direction of the renowned Polish coach, Dr Zbigniew Orywal, who had formerly spent many years living and coaching in Ireland. Unfortunately Dr Orywal was unexpectedly hospitalised during the squad's time in Poland. However he remained in daily contact with Maria, and sent details of a training programme to her. He also arranged for his fellow Polish coaches, Stanisław Szudrowicz and Witold Dziamski, to work with the mid-Louth athletes and their coaches in Poznan's Olimpia Stadium. Polish athlete, Justyna Lesman, and Dr Orywal's daughter, Ana, and son-in-law, Marek, were also very helpful to the group as interpreters, guides and friends.

After some light rain on the first day, and a cool second day, the last three days were perfect for training. It was sunny with light winds and the daytime temperature in the low 20s. The facilities in the Olimpia complex included a fully-equipped athletics track, a gym, and a lakeside forest trail which was ideal for running longer distances. While in Poznan the athletes trained twice a day with just one afternoon off for sightseeing in the attractive and historic city.

Ardee's Barry Faulkner, the youngest athlete in the group, was also able to compete as a guest in a local schools' competition at the stadium, where he impressed Irish and Poles alike with a fine double victory in the High Jump (1.48m) and the 300m (43.63s).

For the coaches and athletes this was also an excellent opportunity to learn from the Poles, particularly as Poland is a country with a fine tradition in track and field, especially in the more technical events. Working with the Polish coaches confirmed several of the training principles with which the St Peter's coaches were already familiar, but also introduced them to some new ideas. The challenge for the forthcoming winter, and for 2008, will be for the athletes and coaches to build on the undoubted success of this training camp.

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19 September 2007

The athletes, coaches, parents and other members of St Peter's AC are now looking back with considerable satisfaction on what has been a very successful 2007 outdoor track and field season for the Dromiskin-based club. Athletes from the club won medals in county, provincial and regional, national and international championship events. This week it is opportune to reflect upon the achievements at national and international level, where St Peter's athletes won an impressive total of 2 gold, 4 silver and 5 bronze medals.

The two gold medals went to Hilary Kerr and Kevin McManus. Hilary won the Irish Under 17 Long Jump title and was also on the St Peter's team which won bronze in the Irish Under 20 4x100m relay. Kevin was victorious in the High Jump at the Irish Under 20 Championships.

Olivia McDonald has also had a great season and won six medals at national and international medal. She was a silver medallist in the Javelin at both the Irish Juvenile Championships in the Under 18 age group, and the Irish Schools' Championships at Under 20 level. Olivia also won bronze medals in the Javelin at the Celtic Games Under 18, the Irish Senior Championships and the Irish Under 20 Championships. In addition she was a member of the club team which finished 3rd in the Irish Under 20 4x100m relay.

Laura O’Neill was a double medal winner in the Javelin at national level in 2007, as she took silver in the Irish Schools' Championships at Under 15 level and bronze in the Irish Juvenile Championships at Under 16 level.

Maria Duffy, who had won several national medals over the years in underage and senior championships, was a silver medallist in the Pentathlon at the Irish Masters' Championships in the Over 40 age group.

Rosaleen Galligan and Emily Kerr also won national bronze medals as members of the successful St Peter's 4x100m relay team at the Irish Under 20 Championships.

Seven athletes from St Peter's, along with four of the club's coaches, and two athletes from neighbouring mid-Louth club, Ardee and District AC, are in Poznan, Poland this week for a five-day training camp under the direction of the legendary Polish coach, Dr Zbigniew Orywal.

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12 September 2007

The athletes, coaches, parents and other members of St Peter's AC are now looking back with considerable satisfaction on what has been a very successful 2007 outdoor track and field season for the Dromiskin-based club. Athletes from the club won medals in county, provincial and regional, national and international championship events. This week it is opportune to reflect upon the achievements at provincial and regional level, where St Peter's athletes won a fantastic total of 18 gold, 13 silver and 2 bronze medals.

In terms of titles won, Laura O’Neill was St Peter's most successful athlete in these championships, as she won 4 gold medals. Her victories came in the North Leinster Schools' Under 15 Shot Putt and Javelin, the Leinster Schools' Javelin, and the Leinster Juvenile Under 16 Javelin.

Hilary Kerr was also very successful in Under 17 age group in the same competitions, winning 3 golds (North Leinster Schools' Long Jump and Leinster Juvenile 100m and Long Jump) and 2 silvers (North Leinster Schools' 100m and Leinster Schools' Long Jump).

Not far behind in the medal count was Olivia McDonald with 3 golds (North Leinster Schools' Under 20 Javelin and Leinster Juvenile Under 18 Shot Putt and Javelin) and 1 silver (Leinster Schools' Javelin).

Two athletes from the club won 2 regional titles each – Kevin Barry Mackin was victorious in the Long Jump and Javelin at Over 35 level in the Northern Ireland Masters', and Paul McDonald won at Under 20 level in both the Leinster Championships and the North Leinster Schools'.

Kevin McManus won an incredible total of 7 regional medals at Under 17 level – 1 gold, 5 silver and 1 bronze. His victory came in the Leinster Juvenile High Jump, while at the same championships he was a silver medallist in the 300m Hurdles and Triple Jump and a bronze medallist in the Long Jump. He won his other silver medals in the North Leinster Schools' High Jump and Triple Jump and the Leinster Schools' High Jump.

The other St Peter's athletes who won regional medals during the summer were: Tom McGrane – 1 gold (Shot) and 1 silver (400m) in the Northern Ireland Masters' Over 40, Peter McDonald – 1 gold (Javelin) in the Leinster Under 23, Declan Gernon – 1 gold (Discus) in the Northern Ireland Masters' Over 40, Olive McKenna – 2 silvers (Shot and Javelin) in the North Leinster Schools' Under 14, Sorcha Conway – 1 silver (Javelin) in the Leinster Juvenile Under 18, Brianán Conway – 1 silver (Javelin) in the Leinster Juvenile Under 15, and Ian McDonald – 1 bronze (Javelin) in the North Leinster Schools' Under 15.

Next Sunday an Open Sports meet will be held at the tartan track in Navan. This is the final track and field meet of the 2007 season. Seven athletes from St Peter's, along with four of the club's coaches, and two athletes from neighbouring mid-Louth club, Ardee and District AC, will travel to Poland next Tuesday for a five-day training camp under the direction of the legendary Polish coach, Dr Zbigniew Orywal.

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5 September 2007

The athletes, coaches, parents and other members of St Peter's AC can now look back with considerable satisfaction on what has been a very successful 2007 outdoor track and field season for the Dromiskin-based club. Athletes from the club won medals in county, provincial and regional, national and international championship events.

This week it is opportune to reflect upon some of the leading achievements at county level, as St Peter's athletes won an incredible total of 47 Louth titles. The AAI Louth Juvenile Championships took place over three consecutive days in Dromiskin (Friday 4th May) and Bush (Saturday 5th and Sunday 6th May). The Louth Community Games finals were held in Bush on Sunday 3rd June. Finally Bush was also the venue for the AAI Louth Junior, Senior and Masters' Championships on the evening of Tuesday 24th July.

Kevin McManus, whose main event is the High Jump, displayed great versatility to win a fantastic total of nine Louth titles, an achievement unmatched by any other athlete in the county. At Junior (Under 20) level he was victorious in the 100m, 200m, Long Jump, Shot and Javelin. In the Under 17 age group he won gold in the 100m, 200m, 100m Hurdles and High Jump.

Not far behind Kevin was Olivia McDonald who won eight county gold medals. The specialist Javelin thrower took the 100m, Long Jump, Shot and Javelin titles at both Junior and Under 18 level. Hilary Kerr was also a multiple county champion, with victories in the Under 17 100m, 200m and Long Jump at the AAI Juvenile Championships and in the Under 16 100m at the Community Games.

Tom McGrane was a three-time winner in the Over 40 age group, as he took gold in the 100m, 200m and Shot. Maria Duffy also won three titles in this age group with victories in the Long Jump, Shot and Javelin.

Six other St Peter's athletes became double county champions during the summer. These were Declan Gernon (Over 40 Discus and Javelin), Eoin Gernon (Under 20 Discus and Under 17 Long Jump), Paul McDonald (Under 18 Shot and Javelin), Ian McDonald (Under 16 Long Jump and Javelin), Laura O’Neill (Under 16 Javelin at both the AAI Championships and Community Games) and Caoimhe McMahon (Under 14 80m Hurdles and Long Jump).

Several other athletes from this very progressive club won gold, silver and bronze medals at the various county championship events. In addition most of the other athletes in the club participated in these championships, alongside their fellow athletes from throughout County Louth. They were all a great credit to themselves and their club as they performed to the best of their ability.

The regular club training sessions continue on Tuesday nights (6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.) in St Joseph's GFC grounds in Dromiskin. A club meeting will be held at 7:30 p.m. next Monday night (10th September) in the St Joseph's GFC clubrooms.

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