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Reports - June 2008

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25 June 2008

The athletes of Dromiskin-based St Peter’s AC have made several trips to Scotland in recent years. Another chapter in this story was written last Saturday when John McDonnell and Tom McGrane competed with considerable success in the Scottish Masters’ Championships at Dunfermline’s Pitreavie Stadium.

John enjoyed a great double victory in the Over 45 age group, winning both the Shot Putt (8.52m) and Discus (22.70m). Tom also performed well in the same age group, as he was 2nd behind his clubmate in the Shot (7.26m) and finished 4th in the 200m (28.40 seconds).

The weather in Dunfermline on Saturday was reasonably kind to the athletes, although not quite up to the standards one might expect for midsummer. However the same could not be said for Tullamore, where gale force winds and torrential rain resulted in very poor conditions for the Leinster Juvenile Championships last Saturday and Sunday. Despite the miserable weather the athletes from St Peter’s AC returned from these championships for the Under 13 to 19 age groups with an impressive haul of 6 gold, 6 silver and 2 bronze medals.

Olivia McDonald won both the Under 19 Shot Putt and Javelin (36.14m). Her throw in the Javelin was a new championship best performance. Olivia also won silver in the 100m and finished 4th in the Long Jump.

Hilary Kerr also won 2 gold and 1 silver medal. Competing at Under 18 level, she triumphed in both the 200m and Long Jump (5.02m) and was 2nd in the 100m.

Frances Rogers won the Under 18 Shot Putt and also took bronze in the Discus. Her cousin Emily Rogers was victorious in the Under 15 High Jump (1.48m).

The mid-Louth club won 3 silver medals in the Under 13 Boys’ events. Mark Rogers, brother of Emily, was 2nd in both the High Jump (1.37m) and Shot Putt (9.67m), while Éamonn McManus impressed with a silver medal in the Javelin.

Laura O’Neill and Brianán Conway were also medallists in the Javelin. Laura finished 2nd in the Under 17 event with a 27.87 metre throw, while Brianán claimed bronze at Under 16 level. The first four in each event at the Leinster Juvenile Championships qualify for next month’s Irish Juvenile Championships.

Megan Finnegan, Niamh Fussey, Ian McDonald, Ellen McGuinness and Niamh Mernagh also competed in Tullamore and did themselves and their club credit with some fine performances in a high standard competition.

You can read more details about the club and the activities of its members on

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18 June 2008

Olivia McDonald’s great 2008 season continued last Saturday with a silver medal in the Javelin at the Ulster Senior Championships in Antrim. The St Peter’s AC athlete threw yet another personal best distance, this time flinging the 600 gram spear 39.31 metres from the end of the javelin runway out into the centre of the arena.

The 18-year-old Dromiskin star, who is currently a student in O’Fiaich Institute of Further Education, had best distances of 36.45 metres in 2006 and 35.92 metres in 2007. Her improvement this year has thus been extremely impressive.

The winner of the Women’s Javelin at the Ulster Championships, which are open to all-comers and included athletes from as far away as Slovakia and South Africa, was Denise Byrne of Dublin club Clonliffe Harriers, who was just ahead of Olivia with a 40.41m throw.

Olivia will be back in action next weekend when she travels to Tullamore for the Leinster Juvenile Championships. She will be accompanied to the midland venue by several of her St Peter’s AC teammates in the Under 13 to Under 19 age groups.

John McDonnell and Tom McGrane are due to compete at the Scottish Masters’ Championships at Pitreavie Stadium in Dunfermline on Saturday, while some of the younger athletes from St Peter’s may compete in the Alec Fennell Memorial cross country races in Dundalk on Friday evening. These races are organised by the North East Runners club.

Meanwhile St Peter’s AC’s new website has just gone live on the internet and can be accessed at

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11 June 2008

Last Sunday John McDonnell made his debut for St Peter’s AC at the Leinster Senior and Masters’ Championships in Tullamore. Making a comeback to the sport after a 23-year break, he won two bronze medals in the Over 45 age group at the provincial championships. John threw 8.60m in the Shot Putt and 22.96m in the Discus.

Several athletes from the Dromiskin-based club represented their home areas at the finals of the Louth Community Games in Bush, which were also held on Sunday.

Niamh Fussey, representing Fane (Darver, Dromiskin and Haggardstown), won the Under 14 Girls’ 80m Hurdles, and thus advances to the National Community Games to be held in Mosney in August. Joining her there will be Nikayla Hamill, who ran a great 3rd leg for the victorious Blackrock team in the Under 12 Girls’ 4x100m relay, and who also competed in the 600m.

Other athletes from St Peter’s AC in action in the Community Games included: Gabriel Bell (Fane, Under 8 60m), Paul Coyne (Fane, Under 10 60m), Lauren Finnegan (Togher, Under 12 Ball Throw), Liam Fussey (Fane, Under 12 600m & relay), Aisling Gernon (Fane, Under 14 Shot), Declan Gernon (Fane, Under 12 Ball Throw & relay), Ellen McGuinness (Fane, Under 14 Shot Putt), Lorcan Murphy (Fane, Under 10 100m & relay), Jack O’Brien (Fane, Under 10 200m & relay) and Heather Rogers (Togher, Under 10 200m). All of these performed very well and most of them won silver or bronze medals.

Tonight (Wednesday) javelin thrower Peter McDonald is scheduled to have his first competition of 2008 in the Dublin Graded Meet in Irishtown. Next Saturday his sister Olivia McDonald, also a javelin thrower, is due to compete in the Ulster Senior Championships in Antrim. Also on Saturday Alex Hanneffy and Lorcan Murphy, the Leinster silver medallists, will be in action in the Under 10 Ball Throw in the Irish Under 10 to 12 Team Competition in Tullamore.

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4 June 2008

Last Saturday five athletes from Dromiskin’s St Peter’s AC represented their secondary schools in the finals of the Irish Schools’ Championships in Tullamore. There were some excellent performances with Olivia McDonald (O’Fiaich Institute, Dundalk) and Frances Rogers (Greenhills College, Drogheda) particularly impressive.

Olivia had a great win in the Senior Girls’ Javelin with yet another personal best throw of 38.63m. This was over 4 metres ahead of her nearest rival. Frances threw 10.06m in the Senior Girls’ Shot Putt, her best distance this year, to claim a bronze medal.

The next best performance by a St Peter’s AC athlete at the County Offaly venue came from Hilary Kerr (St Louis, Dundalk) in the Inter Girls’ Long Jump, who jumped 5.22m, just 6cm off her best ever, for 6th place.

Also competing in the Irish Schools’ Championships were Brianán Conway (St Vincent’s, Dundalk) in the Junior Girls’ Javelin and Laura O’Neill (St Louis, Dundalk) in the Inter Girls’ Javelin.

Nineteen athletes from St Peter’s AC made the shorter journey to Navan for the Leinster Championships on Sunday. These championships included events for the Under 10 to 12 age groups, in which athletes competed in pairs, and relays for all juvenile age groups.

Leading the way at the County Meath venue were Alex Hanneffy (25.11m) and Lorcan Murphy (23.55m) who combined for a fantastic silver medal in the Under 10 Boys’ Ball Throw.

Nikayla Hamill (18.84m) and Heather Rogers (12.08m) were 6th in the Under 11 Girls’ Ball Throw. Also finishing 6th were Lauren Finnegan (5.65m) and Elizabeth Bell (3.34m) in the Under 12 Girls’ Shot Putt. Lauren (3.54m) and Elizabeth (3.34m) also combined for 7th in the Long Jump. The Under 11 Boys’ Long Jump team of Jack O’Brien (2.92m) and Michael Mullen (2.55m) finished in 8th place.

Three of the St Peter’s AC combinations recorded 9th place finishes – Declan Gernon (13.24s) and Martin McGrane (15.50s) in the Under 11 Boys’ 80m, Orlaith McMahon (3.15m) and Nikayla Hamill (2.93m) in the Under 11 Girls’ Long Jump, and Liam Fussey (5.50m) and Pauraic McGinn (3.70m) in the Under 12 Boys’ Shot Putt.

Declan Gernon (3.05m) and Martin McGrane (2.33m) were 10th in the Under 11 Boys’ Long Jump. Also finishing 10th were Paul Coyne (21.94m) and Daniel Mullen (17.97m) in the Under 10 Boys’ Ball Throw. Daniel (2.66m) and Paul (2.39m) also combined for 13th in the Long Jump.

Alex Hanneffy and Lorcan Murphy competed in the Under 10 Boys’ 60m, and Lorcan also leapt 2.81m in the Long Jump. However he was not placed in this event as he did not have a partner.

The Under 15 Girls’ 4x100m team (Ellen McGuinness, Emily Rogers, Niamh Fussey, Caoimhe McMahon) ran very well to take 4th place in the final in 58.85 seconds. The Under 11 Boys’ 4x100m team (Alex Hanneffy, Jack O’Brien, Declan Gernon, Lorcan Murphy) just missed a place in the final, as they finished 4th in their heat.

Last Friday night in Carrickmacross Martin McGrane ran in the Carrick Aces AC road races. He finished outside the medals in the 200m race, but won a medal when finishing 10th in the 800m.

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