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Reports - January 2009

28 January » 21 January » 14 January » 7 January »

28 January 2009

Last Saturday Frances Rogers made a great start to the 2009 athletics season, finishing 4th in the Junior (Under 20) Women’s Shot Putt at the Irish Indoor Championships in Nenagh. The 17-year-old Togher athlete, who is a member of Dromiskin club St Peter’s AC, showed that her winter training is progressing well, as she achieved a new personal best performance and club record in the County Tipperary arena.

Competing in very cold conditions, despite the fact that it was indoors, Frances opened with a modest throw of 9.12 metres, which left her in 6th position of the 9 competitors at the end of the 1st round. However in the 2nd round she moved into 3rd place in the standings with an excellent 10.44m throw, well ahead of her 2008 best of 10.06m. Even better was to come in the following round, when she launched the 4kg implement out to a lifetime best of 10.58m to ensure that she remained firmly in medal contention.

Frances, who is a 6th year student at Drogheda’s Greenhills College, had another fine throw in the 4th round, measured at 10.24m, although this round saw her slip to 4th place, as one of her competitors inched ahead of her. After a disappointing 8.73m effort in the 5th round, she recovered to register 9.92m in the 6th and final round.

Next Sunday a number of St Peter’s AC athletes are due to compete in Nenagh on the 1st day of the Leinster Indoor Championships. As Nenagh is the only permanent indoor track on the island of Ireland, it hosts the Leinster Championships each year, despite it being located in Munster.

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21 January 2009

Last Sunday Mark Rogers made a great start to the 2009 athletics season, as he won a silver medal in the Under 14 Boys’ Pentathlon at the Irish Indoor Combined Events’ Championships in Nenagh. The young Togher athlete, who is a member of Dromiskin club St Peter’s AC, had an excellent series of performances in the County Tipperary arena.

Competing in very cold conditions, despite the fact that it was indoors, Mark opened with a personal best 10.8 for the 60m Hurdles. In the next event, the Long Jump, he was just below his best, but then bounced back with a best of 10.65m in the Shot Putt. He followed this with two more great PBs, scaling 1.54m in the High Jump, and then finishing the day in style with a storming 2:36 run in the 800m,

Emily Rogers, older sister of Mark, was also in action in Nenagh, where she finished 11th in the Under 16 Girls’ Pentathlon. She had an excellent High Jump performance with a 1.57m leap, which is just 1cm outside her personal best.

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14 January 2009

Last Friday night Hilary Kerr of Dromiskin-based St Peter’s AC was honoured by Athletics Leinster at a function in the Seven Oaks Hotel, Carlow. For the third year in succession she received the award for being the leading juvenile female athlete in County Louth in Leinster championship competition during the preceding year.

At the Leinster Indoor Championships in Nenagh last spring Hilary won three provincial titles in the Under 18 Girls’ events. She was victorious in the 60m (8.13 seconds), 200m (27.1 seconds after a 26.98 performance in her heat) and the Long Jump (8.23 metres). The Darver athlete, currently a 5th year student in St Louis, Dundalk, followed this up by winning two more golds and a silver at the outdoor championships. These were held in Tullamore in June in atrocious weather conditions. She again won the 200m (27.50 seconds) and Long Jump (5.02 metres) and took 2nd place in the 100m (13.16 seconds).

Since the formation of the Athletic Association of Ireland in 2000 after years of politically motivated division, all of County Louth’s athletes have competed together in the same Leinster championship events. In these nine years the athletes of St Peter’s AC have won an impressive 10 of the total of 18 Leinster awards for the county’s leading juvenile athletes. Like Hilary, Peter McDonald has also been honoured on three occasions. His awards resulted from his Leinster championship performances in 2002, 2004 and 2005. Four other athletes won this award on one occasion each: Aoife McCarthy (2000), Shauna Martin (2004), Olivia McDonald (2005) and Kevin McManus (2007).

The regular club training sessions at the St Joseph’s GFC facilities in Dromiskin have now resumed after the Christmas and New Year break. The younger athletes continue to train on Thursday evenings, while the older athletes train on both Tuesdays and Thursdays. All the sessions start at 6:30 p.m. sharp.

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7 January 2009

On New Year’s Day brothers Michael Mullen and Daniel Mullen, both members of Dromiskin club St Peter’s AC, had great runs in the North East Runners’ 5km handicap race in Dundalk. Eight-year-old Daniel had impressed in running the distance in 30:55 on St Stephen’s Day, while his ten-year-old brother Michael had missed that race due to illness. But even better was to come from the talented pair on New Year’s Day.

Both boys started at the front of the 30-strong field and ran side-by-side throughout. The older runners who started behind them gradually narrowed the gap, but the pace set by Michael and Daniel was such that it was impossible to catch them. Towards the end of the three-lap race, Michael sprinted away from his younger brother to cross the line in 2nd place in a fine time of 28:34. Daniel just held off some fast finishing senior athletes to come home 3rd in a time of 28:41 – over two minutes faster than he had run just six days earlier.

Given Michael and Daniel’s excellent runs on New Year’s Day, the North East Runners handicapper may have to consider revising their handicaps if either or both of the brothers run in the next of these 5km races on St Patrick’s Day.

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