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Reports - February 2009

25 February » 18 February » 11 February » 4 February »

25 February 2009

The annual Celtic Schools’ Under 16 International was staged last Sunday in Wales. The venue was the National Indoor Athletics Centre at the University of Wales Institute, Cardiff (UWIC). This event was the occasion of the international debut of 14-year-old Emily Rogers, the very promising young athlete from St Peter’s AC in Dromiskin. Emily, who is a second year student at Our Lady’s College, Greenhills in Drogheda, was Ireland’s representative in her favourite event, the High Jump. At 3:15 p.m. last Sunday afternoon she entered into battle on behalf of her country against three other 14-year-old girls, who were representing Scotland, Wales and the Welsh Development or “B” team.

The pre-competition favourite was Scotland’s Rachel Whittle, a member of Ayr Seaforth AC and a student at Marr College, Troon. Whittle had a personal best of 1.68m for the event. Also fancied on home soil was Emily Morris of Wales, the Swansea AC athlete who attends Olchfa School, Sketty in Swansea. Morris had impressed in jumping 1.64m recently and was familiar with the Cardiff arena. Rogers’ lifetime best was 1.58m, which she achieved in last summer’s North Leinster Schools’ Championships. This just ranked her ahead of Alysha Jones of Bridgend AC and Porthcawl Comprehensive School. Jones, representing the Welsh Development team in Cardiff, had a pre-competition best of 1.55m.

Somewhat surprisingly Emily Morris of Wales was the first to be eliminated on the day, as her best clearance of 1.54m saw her finish in 4th place. A ding-dong battle then ensued between Morris’s Welsh compatriot, Alysha Jones, and our own Emily Rogers. Both girls excelled to clear personal best heights of 1.58m, but Emily finished in 2nd place on countback, as she had fewer failures than the Welsh Development athlete. Scotland’s Rachel Whittle justified her status as pre-competition favourite as she went on to clear 1.62m to seal victory.

Rogers can be very proud of her achievements on her international debut. She matched her personal best, and beat both Welsh athletes, one of whom had previously jumped significantly higher than her. The St Peter’s AC athlete also jumped within 4cm of Whittle, the outstanding young high jumper from Ayrshire in Scotland.

This coming weekend several athletes from the Dromiskin club will be in action once again in the indoor arena, this time in the slightly less exalted setting of the Leinster Juvenile Championships in Nenagh. Hopefully some of them will also go on to emulate Emily and represent Ireland on the international stage in the not too distant future.

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18 February 2009

Last Wednesday Dromiskin club St Peter’s AC had one athlete in action at the Leinster Schools’ Cross Country Championships. This was Niamh Fussey, who was representing Dunleer’s Scoil Uí Mhuirí in the Junior (Under 15) Girls’ event. Although she finished outside the medals, Niamh had a good run in her race over 1200m. These championships were held at Santry Demense in Dublin, which will also be the venue for the European Cross Country Championships next December – the first major international athletics event to be staged in Ireland for a number of years.

Next Sunday Emily Rogers will represent Ireland in the Celtic Schools’ International. This annual event, involving teams from Ireland, Scotland and Wales, is being held at the National Indoor Athletics Centre in Cardiff. 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, Olivia McDonald, Peter McDonald and Kevin McManus. All at the club and her school wish Emily well on her international debut.

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11 February 2009

Last weekend three athletes from St Peter’s AC in Dromiskin travelled to the magnificent Odyssey Arena in Belfast where they competed in the Ulster Juvenile Indoor Championships. These were held in conjunction with the Irish Senior Indoor Championships, in which athletes such as Ireland’s fastest man, Paul Hession, our former world indoor champion, Derval O’Rourke, and Britain’s Olympic champion, Christine Ohuruogu, were competing.

Mark Rogers was in excellent form in the Under 14 Boys’ events, winning two medals and setting personal bests in each of his three events. He added a huge 6cm to his previous High Jump best, leaping 1.60m to claim victory by a colossal margin of 9cm. In the 60m Hurdles he ran a fine 10.72 as he crossed the line in 3rd place. The very versatile young athlete from Togher just missed out on yet another medal in the 800m where he finished 4th in final. After winning his heat of this event in a very impressive 2:31.2, he had another fast run in the final, clocking 2:33.7. Both these times were well inside his previous best of 2:36.4.

Emily Rogers, sister of Mark, also dominated the High Jump in the Under 16 Girls’ category. Her winning leap of 1.56m was just outside her personal best. The quality of Emily’s performance can perhaps best be gauged when it is realised that it was higher than the height achieved by the bronze medallist in the National Senior Championships.

Niamh Fussey took the track for the first time ever in an indoor arena, where she was in action in the Under 15 Girls’ events. She finished 5th in her heat of the 60m Hurdles in a time of 11.08 and 7th in her heat of the 800m in 3:07.0, both of which performances represented personal bests.

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4 February 2009

Last Sunday a small team of athletes from St Peter’s AC in Dromiskin travelled to Nenagh for the first day of the Leinster Indoor Championships. But whatever they may have lacked in numbers, they more than made up for with the quality of their performances, as they made the long homeward journey north-eastwards with a fine haul of 4 gold and 1 silver medals.

Frances Rogers won both the Under 19 and Junior (Under 20) Shot Putt competitions, where her best throws were measured at 10.27m in the former and 10.28m in the latter. Grace Rogers, sister of Frances, leapt 1.50m for victory in the Under 17 High Jump, and also finished 2nd in her heat of the 200m. Grace’s cousin Emily Rogers cleared the exact same height in the Under 16 High Jump, which resulted in her finishing in joint 2nd place. Hilary Kerr, recently honoured for the third year in succession as County Louth’s leading juvenile female athlete in Leinster championship competition, triumphed once again in a provincial final, as she took the Under 19 200m title.

Meanwhile last Wednesday the North Leinster Schools’ Cross Country Championships were held at Santry in Dublin. The star performer from St Peter’s AC was Niamh Fussey who finished 18th in the Junior (Under 15) Girls’ race. Niamh was representing Dunleer’s Scoil Uí Mhuirí, who came 2nd in the team event. Just six places behind Niamh in the same race was Emily Rogers, whose school, Greenhills College of Drogheda, won the team event. In the Intermediate (Under 17) Girls’ race Grace Rogers, also representing Greenhills College, had a fine run, crossing the line in 22nd place.

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