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Reports - December 2008

31 December » 24 December » 17 December » 10 December » 3 December »

31 December 2008

On St Stephen’s Day Daniel Mullen, one of the youngest athletes in Dromiskin club St Peter’s AC, competed in the North East Runners’ 5km handicap race in Dundalk. He had a most impressive run what is quite a long race for an eight-year-old. Naturally he received a good handicap and he made the most of this by easily running away from other athletes who started around the same time as him. Some of the faster runners who started behind Daniel did manage to overtake him before the finish, but several others were still in his wake as he crossed the finish line.

Another in this popular series of 5km handicap races will be held on New Year’s Day at 11 a.m., starting from the cul-de-sac at the end of the old Newry Road in Dundalk. Next Monday night the annual St Peter’s AC Presentation of Awards will take place in St Joseph’s GFC clubrooms, starting at 7:30 p.m.

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24 December 2008

The athletes of Dromiskin-based St Peter’s AC are now taking a break from the regular club training sessions. These will resume in early January after the Christmas and New Year holidays. Before the athletes resume training the club’s annual Presentation of Awards night will be held in St Joseph’s GFC on Monday 5th January, starting at 7:30 p.m. Tickets for what promises to be a most enjoyable night are priced at 15 euro for adults and 12 euro for juvenile athletes.

Meanwhile there will be a few events locally on Christmas Day and St Stephen’s Day to ensure that the club’s athletes do not lose too much fitness during their well-deserved break. On Christmas Day Dunleer AC is hosting a GOAL Mile event between 10 a.m. and 12 noon. There will be two more GOAL Miles locally on St Stephen’s Day. Glenmore AC will host an event at the Bush Track and, at the other end of the county, Termonfeckin GAA club St Fechin’s will do likewise at their Beaulieu grounds. Both the Bush and Beaulieu events are scheduled to be held between 11 a.m. and 12 noon.

The ever-popular North East Runners’ 5km handicap race also starts at 11 a.m. on St Stephen’s morning from the cul-de-sac at the end of the old Newry Road in Dundalk. The fact that this race is handicapped means that it is suitable for all, regardless of their ability (or lack thereof) over the 5km distance. Donations for GOAL will also be accepted at this event, which is followed by complementary refreshments and prize-giving in the Harp Brewery.

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17 December 2008

St Peter’s AC has been fortunate to have been well served by coaches, administrators and parents over the years, with some dedicated people filling more than one role. Among those who have thus served the Dromiskin-based athletics club are Kathleen McConnell and Angela McDonald.

Having qualified as Level 1 coaches a number of years ago, this year Kathleen and Angela embarked upon the next stage in their coaching careers by participating in the Level 2 coaching courses at Santry Stadium in Dublin. Both women recently completed these courses and the club’s athletes are now benefitting from the expanded knowledge of their experienced and dedicated coaches.

Tomorrow (Thursday) night’s training session will be the last club session before the Christmas and New Year break. The athletes and parents are now also looking forward to the club’s annual Presentation of Awards night, which will be held in St Joseph’s GFC on Monday 5th January, starting at 7:30 p.m. Tickets for what promises to be a most enjoyable night are priced at 15 euro for adults and 12 euro for juvenile athletes.

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10 December 2008

Last Sunday Mark Rogers of Dromiskin-based St Peter’s AC ran a great race at the Irish Juvenile Cross Country Championships as he came home in 20th place in the Under 13 Boys’ race. The races were held on a cold winter’s day at Ballyhaise in County Cavan. Nikayla Hamill had also qualified to compete in the Under 11 Girls’ event at these championships, but unfortunately had to withdraw beforehand as she was feeling unwell.

Mark made an excellent start to his race over the 1200 metres course on frozen bumpy ground. Throughout the first half of the race he was running along comfortably in around 6th or 7th place. However he then lost some ground on a tough uphill stretch, and was subsequently unable to regain contact with the leaders. Nevertheless Mark was very pleased with his 20th place finish as he crossed the line.

This was a most impressive performance by the young Togher athlete in a field of around 200 athletes from throughout the island, all of whom had qualified for the races at Ballyhaise through their performance in their respective provincial championships. In addition Mark was a member of the Leinster team which won the interprovincial contest in the Under 13 Boys race. The strength of the eastern province’s team was such that Mark was the 7th member of the team to finish, just outside the scoring 6 athletes, so unfortunately he did not receive a medal.

Earlier last week Emily Rogers, Mark’s older sister and also a member of St Peter’s AC, was thrilled to learn that she has been selected to represent Ireland in the Celtic Schools’ International. This annual event, involving teams from Ireland, Scotland and Wales, is due to be held at the National Indoor Athletics Centre in Cardiff on Sunday 22nd February 2009.

Emily, who is a 2nd year student at Our Lady’s College, Greenhills in Drogheda, will be in action in the Under 16 Girls’ High Jump in the Welsh capital. This will be her first time to compete in the green of Ireland, and she will join an illustrious list of athletes who have represented their country while a member of the Dromiskin club. Those who have been similarly honoured before her include Maria Mackin, Aoife McCarthy, Peter McDonald, Olivia McDonald and Kevin McManus. All at the club and her school will wish Emily well in her preparations for her international debut.

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3 December 2008

The current year has proved to be an extremely successful one for St Peter’s AC, the progressive athletics club based in Dromiskin with members from both the local community and the wider North and Mid-Louth area. The recent awarding of an Athletics Leinster bursary to eighteen-year-old javelin thrower Olivia McDonald adds yet another chapter to the illustrious tale of the club’s achievements in 2008.

The provincial body awarded bursaries to 10 of Leinster’s leading athletes. Almost 100 applications were received from hopefuls throughout the province, and Olivia was the only athlete from County Louth to receive one. The factors considered in determining the award winners were performance, potential, training plans and dedication. The young Dromiskin athlete, who is currently a student in O’Fiaich Institute of Further Education, has already put the funds to good use by purchasing a new 600g carbon javelin.

Olivia made a psychologically significant breakthrough last July when she breached the 40 metres barrier for the first time, throwing 40.70m to win the Irish Under 19 title in Tullamore. She had also won the Irish Schools’ and Irish Junior (Under 20) titles earlier in the summer. However her prowess was not reserved for underage competitions, as she was also silver medallist in the Irish Senior Championships, having previously taken bronze in the country’s premier domestic competition in 2006 and 2007.

2008 was also the occasion of Olivia’s senior international debut in an Irish vest, as she finished in 4th place at the CSIT World Games in Rimini on Italy’s Adriatic Coast. As in so many international javelin competitions, victory in this event went to a Finnish athlete, while silver and bronze went to Swiss and Brazilian throwers respectively. However Olivia beat the second string representatives from Finland, Switzerland and Brazil, as well as athletes from France, Italy and Russia.

It is hoped that this Athletics Leinster bursary will help Olivia build on her successes of this year and that she will make an even greater impact on the javelin throwing scene in 2009.

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