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Reports - February 2008


27 February » 20 February » 13 February » 6 February »

27 February 2008

Last Friday the members, parents and friends of St Peter’s AC took a break from the rigours of training and competition for the club’s annual awards function. These were held in the St Joseph’s GFC clubrooms in Dromiskin, and the athletics club are very grateful to the GAA club for the use of their fine facilities.

There was an excellent turnout of athletes and their family members for what turned out to be a very enjoyable celebration of both the club’s many achievements during 2007 and the golden jubilee of the club’s triumph in the Louth Senior Men’s Cross Country Championship in 1958.

The first awards on the night were presented to three athletes who won national titles in 2007: Hilary Kerr, Kevin McManus and Emily Rogers. The next set of awards went to those athletes who set county records at the 2007 Louth Juvenile Track and Field Championships. These were Lauren Finnegan, Hilary Kerr, Olivia McDonald, Kevin McManus, Laura O’Neill, Emily Rogers, Frances Rogers, Grace Rogers and Mark Rogers.

Special merit awards were then presented to Ellen McGuinness and Joseph Mullen. The “most improved athlete” awards went to Caoimhe Hoey (cross country) and Ian McDonald (track and field). The cross country awards were presented to the Under 18 Girls’ team (Sorcha Conway, Hilary Kerr and Olivia McDonald) and the Under 10 Boys’ team (Aaron Byrne, Ciarán Conway, Conor Hoey and Michael Mullen).

Next up were the track and field awards for the various age groups. The award winners for the juvenile age groups were Gabriel Bell and Nikayla Hamill (Under 8 to Under 13), and Hilary Kerr and Kevin McManus (Under 14 upwards). The Junior award went to Olivia McDonald and the Senior awards to Fiona Mackin and Kevin Barry Mackin. Finally Maria Duffy and Tom McGrane were honoured for their achievements in Masters’ competitions.

St Peter’s AC also presents five perpetual trophies each year. This year the Richardson Shield went to Liam Fussey, the Angela McDonald Trophy to Brianán Conway, the Maria Mackin Trophy to Linda Galligan and the Jumps Cup to Hilary Kerr. Finally the Throws Cup was awarded jointly to Olivia McDonald and Laura O’Neill.

There were also presentations to Rosaleen Galligan, Emily Kerr and Peter McDonald for all their efforts and achievements with the club over many years. Geraldine Fussey was honoured for the great help she gave the club during 2007. In addition, there was a special presentation to Dundealgan AC’s Phyllis Muckian in recognition of the assistance she has given to St Peter’s AC since the formation of the Athletic Association of Ireland eight years ago.

The final awards of the night went to the men who brought glory to the Dromiskin club by winning the Louth Senior Cross Country title exactly 50 years ago in February 1958. The team on that day was Hughie O’Connor, James McKeown, Joe McCann, Paddy O’Connor, Paddy Healy (RIP), Felix McKeown, Willie Reilly, Noel Carroll (RIP) and Tommy Neary (RIP). Family members represented those athletes who sadly are no longer with us.

Earlier last week cousins Emily Rogers and Grace Rogers, running in the colours of their Drogheda school (Our Lady’s College, Greenhills), competed the Leinster Schools’ Cross Country Championships at Santry in Dublin. Meanwhile another family duo, brothers Joseph Mullen and Michael Mullen, headed in the opposite direction to compete in the Armagh International Road Races. All four St Peter’s AC athletes performed well, although these longer distance races are not their favoured events.

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20 February 2008

Last Saturday Tom McGrane from Dromiskin-based St Peter’s AC made the long journey to Nenagh for the Irish Masters’ Indoor Championships. These championships attracted a big entry of athletes from 35 years old upwards. The competition at the County Tipperary venue marked Tom’s return to both indoor and national championship athletics after a 14-year gap.

Tom was one of nine competitors in the over 40 age group 400m. The athletes were divided into three separate races with the overall placings decided by their times. His performance of 62.07 seconds was good enough for 6th place overall. Tom’s winter training seems to be progressing well, as his time on the tight indoor track was faster than his best performance outdoors last summer.

Meanwhile, also on Saturday, five of the club’s younger athletes made the shorter journey to Dublin’s Santry Stadium for a Leinster squad session. These were javelin throwers Olivia McDonald and Laura O’Neill, shot putter Frances Rogers, and high jumpers Grace Rogers and Emily Rogers.

This Friday (22nd February) St Peter’s AC will take a break from the rigours of training and competition for the club’s annual awards function in the St Joseph’s GFC clubrooms, starting at 8 p.m. The club would appreciate the presence of as many athletes and parents as possible on the night. Tickets, priced at 15 euro for adults and 12 euro for children, for what promises to be a very enjoyable night will be available at training tomorrow night, or by contacting Geraldine Fussey on 086 3675155.

The awards function will be a particularly special occasion this year, as a presentation will be made to members of the club who won the team title at the Louth Senior Men’s Cross Country Championships in February 1958. The men who brought glory to the Dromiskin club, which had been founded less than three years previously, were Hughie O’Connor, James McKeown, Joe McCann, Paddy O’Connor, Paddy Healy and Felix McKeown. This year, of course, marks the golden jubilee of that famous victory.

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13 February 2008

Last weekend Hilary Kerr from Dromiskin-based St Peter’s AC travelled to Glasgow to compete in the Scottish Indoor Championships at Under 17 level. These championships were held on Sunday in the Kelvin Hall and, as they are open to all-comers, attracted athletes from England and Ireland as well as from Scotland itself.

Hilary’s day started early with the heats of 60m at 10.25 a.m. Competing in the third of five heats, she eased to victory in 8.11 seconds, faster than she had run when winning the Leinster title in this event in Nenagh the previous Sunday. Behind her were two Scottish and two English athletes.

The 60m semi-finals followed two hours later at 12.25 p.m. Running in the first of two races Hilary comfortably qualified for the final in 2nd place with a great personal best time of 8.05. A Scottish athlete won this semi, but Hilary finished ahead of another Scottish girl and all three English girls.

Just 50 minutes later Hilary was back on the track for the 60m final. Opposing her were two athletes from Scotland (Glasgow and Lasswade), two from Ireland (Letterkenny and Nenagh) and one from England (Blackpool). Once again Hilary rose to the occasion, as she improved her PB for the second time within the space of an hour. Her magnificent time of 8.02 was good enough for 5th place in a very hotly contested race.

Following her outstanding performances in the sprint Hilary returned to the arena once more at 2.30 p.m. This time it was to compete in her main event, the Long Jump. 16 athletes, representing the cream of these islands, took part. There were seven Irish, six Scots and three English girls in action. Understandably Hilary was somewhat tired after her exertions earlier in the day and jumped a little below her best. However she still managed to match her 5th place finish from the track event with a 4.97m jump. Ahead of her were two Scots (from Glasgow and Edinburgh), one Irish athlete (from Kinsale) and an English athlete (from Jarrow).

Next Saturday the Irish Masters’ Indoor Championships for athletes over 35 will be held in Nenagh. It is hoped that St Peter’s AC will also be represented at this event. However, over the past three weeks, in Belfast, Nenagh and Glasgow, the club’s younger athletes have set a very high standard for their older colleagues to attempt to emulate.

On Friday 22nd February St Peter’s AC will take a break from the rigours of training and competition for the club’s annual awards function in St Joseph’s GFC clubrooms, starting at 8 p.m. This will be a particularly special occasion this year, as a presentation will be made to members of the club who won the team title at the Louth Senior Men’s Cross Country Championships in February 1958. This year, of course, marks the golden jubilee of that famous victory. Tickets for what promises to be a very enjoyable night are available from the club’s committee members.

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6 February 2008

Last weekend nine athletes from St Peter’s AC made the long journey to Nenagh for the first weekend of the Leinster Juvenile Indoor Championships. These championships were held at the County Tipperary venue, as there is no indoor athletics arena in Leinster. The team had a very successful championships, as the athletes returned home with three gold, one silver and three bronze medals.

Hilary Kerr led the way for the Dromiskin-based club with double gold in the Under 18 Girls’ 60m and Long Jump (5.23m). Young Mark Rogers also impressed in the Under 13 Boys’ events. He took gold in the High Jump (1.39m), silver in the Shot Putt (9.47m) and 5th place in the Long Jump. Also medalling in the Under 13 Boys’ Shot Putt was Éamon McManus, who claimed the bronze medal (7.81m). St Peter’s other two bronze medallists in Nenagh were Olivia McDonald in the Under 19 Girls’ Long Jump and Frances Rogers in the Under 18 Girls’ Shot Putt.

Caoimhe Hoey and Ailbhe McGuinness both competed in the Under 16 Girls’ 800m, while Niamh Fussey also ran the 800m in the Under 14 Girls’ age group. The youngest St Peter’s athlete in action at the provincial championships was Lauren Finnegan, who finished 8th out of 20 in the Under 12 Girls’ Long Jump (3.21m). A few other athletes from the club had also planned to compete in Nenagh, but unfortunately were unable to do so due to injury or illness.

Not all the events were contested in Nenagh last weekend. The remaining juvenile events will be held in conjunction with the province’s Junior, Senior and Masters’ Championships on Sunday 9th March at the same venue. The first four athletes in each event at the Leinster Juvenile Championships qualify for the Irish National Juvenile Championships, which will be held over two weekends in April.

Next Sunday Hilary Kerr, fresh from her double triumph at the Leinster Championships, will step up a level, as she travels to Glasgow’s Kelvin Hall for the Scottish Open Indoor Championships. There she will compete in the 60m and Long Jump once again, but this time at Under 17 level, due to the differing cut-off dates for the juvenile age groups which apply in Scotland.

On Friday 22nd February St Peter’s AC will take a break from the rigours of training and competition for the club’s annual awards function in St Joseph’s GFC clubrooms, starting at 8 p.m. This will be a particularly special occasion this year, as a presentation will be made to members of the club who won the team title at the Louth Senior Men’s Cross Country Championships in February 1958. This year, of course, marks the golden jubilee of that famous victory. Tickets for what promises to be a very special and enjoyable night are available from the club’s committee members.

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