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Reports - September 2009

30 September » 23 September » 16 September » 9 September » 2 September »

30 September 2009

Last Sunday five athletes from St Peter’s AC made the short journey southwards to Stamullen for the inaugural local event of the cross country season. The Star of the Sea AC promotion on a tough hilly course was blessed with the sort of weather which would have been ideal for a track and field meet at the height of the summer season. This ensured that the competition was very well supported with big fields in all the races.

Gabriel Bell had a great run in the Under 9 Boys’ race. He lay in 3rd place for most of the 500m course, and then unleashed a tremendous finishing kick to cross the line in 2nd place. Oisín Duffy also ran in this race – his first ever outing over the country – and did very well to finish in 30th place.

Daniel Mullen was the next athlete from the Dromiskin-based club in action, and he had a very good run in the Under 11 Boys’ race, especially considering that he will still be eligible for this age group next year. Likewise his older brother Michael Mullen gave a good account of himself in the Under 13 event, despite being still an Under 12 athlete.

Maria Duffy, mother of Oisín, had her first race in some months, and was pleased with her performance in the Masters’ Over 40 age group. On the day the Masters’ women raced together with their younger counterparts in the Under 20 and Senior categories.

This coming Sunday marks the first day of the Louth Cross Country Championships, with the Juvenile even age groups and the Novice races being staged in Ardee. As well as hoping for good performances by the club’s athletes in the mid-Louth town, St Peter’s AC will also be wishing the local Gaelic football club, St Joseph’s, all the best in the county Minor final the same day. All at the athletics club value the good relationship between the two clubs, and particularly the availability of the St Joseph’s GFC facilities for athletics training.

St Peter’s AC athlete Ian McDonald, who has had a great athletics season with some excellent performances in the Long Jump and 100m, is also part of the football team which will strive to bring more sporting glory to the Dromiskin and Darver area on Sunday afternoon, when they square up to the Geraldines, their neighbours from across the River Fane.

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23 September 2009

Last Wednesday cousins Grace Rogers and Mark Rogers performed very well in their pentathlon events in the Leinster Schools’ Combined Events’ Championships at Santry Stadium in Dublin. Both athletes, who are members of thriving Dromiskin-based club St Peter’s AC, were representing their Drogheda schools, Greenhills College and St Joseph’s CBS respectively.

Grace was competing in the Intermediate (Under 17) age group, for which she will still be eligible in 2010. She accumulated a total of 2460 points with a most impressive set of performances in the five events: High Jump 1.49m (610 points), 800m 2:41.9 (551), 80m Hurdles 14.7 (502), Long Jump 4.52m (433) and 4kg Shot 7.45m (364). Some of these performances were actually personal bests in the individual events. Her efforts resulted in her finishing in fourth place, just outside the medals but still good enough to qualify for the Irish Schools’ Championships.

Grace is a very busy young sportswoman these days, as she had played for the Stabannon team which drew in the Louth Senior Ladies’ Gaelic Football final the previous weekend. She is due to line out for Stabannon again in this evening’s replay, and is then scheduled to return to Santry on Saturday for the Irish Schools’ pentathlon.

Mark, who was making his debut for St Joseph’s, was competing in the Junior (Under 15) age group, for which he will still be eligible for the next two years. Despite being up against athletes considerably older than himself, he more than held his own, finishing 12th in a very large field of 32 athletes. His final total of 2072 points was accumulated with a solid set of performances throughout the day: 80m Hurdles 13.2 (559 points), 4kg Shot 9.34m (446), 800m 2:24.8 (387), 200m 28.1 (354) and Long Jump 4.70m (326).

Mark was one of three St Peter’s AC athletes who came home from last Sunday’s Navan AC Sports with an incredible total of twelve medals. He himself won gold in the 100m, High Jump, Long Jump and Shot, silver in the 800m, and bronze in the 200m. Caoilte Hickey was also in great form, taking gold in the 200m, silver in the 100m and Shot, and bronze in the High Jump and Long Jump. Emily Rogers, older sister of Mark, has had a great season in the High Jump, but she switched to the Long Jump in Navan, and came away with a bronze medal.

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16 September 2009

Last Sunday a team of 12 young athletes from St Peter’s AC competed in the Pitreavie AC Young Athletes’ Trophy meeting in the historic Fife town of Dunfermline. Emily Rogers finished off an outstanding season with an another excellent performance to win the Under 17 High Jump with a leap of 1.65m, just 1cm off her personal best. She was the Dromiskin-based club’s only medallist in a competition that attracted most of the leading young athletes in Scotland.

However St Peter’s AC recorded an agonising five 4th place finishes on a very pleasant day for track and field athletics in a very well organised meeting. Ian McDonald finished 4th in both the Under 17 100m with a personal best of 12.00, albeit slightly wind assisted, and the Long Jump, where he leapt 5.27m, just 5cm short of a medal. He also threw 8.03m with the 5kg Shot to finish 5th in that event.

Niamh Fussey was also a double 4th-placer, recording 13.44 in the Under 15 75m Hurdles final after a 13.12 clocking in her heat, and leaping 4.45m in the Long Jump. In between she also finished 10th in the 800m (3:03.02). Megan Finnegan was another athlete in excellent form, as she threw 5.89m with the 2.72kg Shot for 4th place in the Under 13 age group. She was also busy on the track, finishing 4th in her 200m heat (32.08 into a headwind) and 6th in her 800m race (2:50.86).

Also putting in fine performances in the Under 15 age group were Ellen McGuinness and Niamh Devlin. Ellen finished 5th in the Shot, recording a distance of 6.06m with the 3.25kg implement, while Niamh cleared 1.25m for 6th in the High Jump, and also finished 9th in the 800m (2:49.56).

St Peter’s AC had six more athletes in action in the Under 13 events, all of whom had very creditable performances, especially considering that five of them will be eligible for this age group again next year. Orlaith McMahon finished 4th in her pool of the Long Jump with 3.62m, not far off her personal best, and also contested the 100m. She was partnered in both these events by Heather Rogers, who recorded 3.12m in the Long Jump. Earlier Heather had thrown 5.07m for 9th place in the Shot.

Just behind Heather in the Shot was Elizabeth Bell in 10th (5.04m). Elizabeth also cleared 1.10m in the High Jump and finished 10th in her 800m race. Young Nikayla Hamill continues to show great promise for the future, and she impressed in all three her events in Scotland. She was 4th in her 200m heat (31.68), 4th again in her 800m race (2:46.69), and cleared 1.20m in the High Jump.

Martin McGrane and Liam Fussey both threw the 3.25kg Shot, where Martin finished 6th (5.88m) and Liam finished 9th (5.39m). This event was won by Ben Robbins of Edinburgh AC, who is ranked No.1 in the UK this year. Liam also finished 12th in the 800m (2:57.53) and recorded 1.15m in the High Jump.

The St Peter’s AC athletes and their accompanying coaches were very proud of their performances and thoroughly enjoyed their weekend in Scotland. They were also very grateful for the hospitality extended by the host club, Pitreavie AC, and in particular by Norman Gardiner, the Meeting Convenor.

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9 September 2009

This coming weekend several young athletes, ranging in age from 11 to 16, from Dromiskin-based St Peter’s AC will travel to Scotland. There they will compete in the Pitreavie AC Young Athletes’ Trophy Meet on Sunday. The club is very grateful to local business consultancy company, Darver Marketing, for the support received in connection with this trip. To mark this very welcome sponsorship of the club, Chris Fussey of Darver Marketing recently presented T shirts to St Peter’s AC athletes and coaches in the St Joseph’s GFC Community Centre in Dromiskin.

Twelve athletes from St Peter’s AC are due to compete at Pitreavie Stadium in the Fife town of Dunfermline, the same number as when the Dromiskin-based club made a very successful trip to this prestigious end-of-season competition back in 2006. Niamh Fussey and Ellen McGuinness are the only two athletes from the 2006 team who will return to Scotland this weekend. As the competition is limited to athletes in the Under 17 and younger age groups, several of those athletes who competed three years ago are now too old for this event.

Niamh and Ellen will be accompanied this time by Elizabeth Bell, Niamh Devlin, Megan Finnegan, Liam Fussey, Nikayla Hamill, Ian McDonald, Martin McGrane, Orlaith McMahon, Emily Rogers and Heather Rogers. These athletes come from across the club’s wide catchment area, with Blackrock, Darver, Dromiskin, Dundalk, Knockbridge and Togher all represented. Having shown great dedication to training in recent weeks, and indeed throughout the year, they will be hopeful of closing the track and field season with some good performances in Dunfermline.

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2 September 2009

Last Saturday Tom McGrane of Dromiskin-based St Peter’s AC rounded off his track and field season with a couple of fine performances in the Northern Ireland Masters’ Championships at the Mary Peters Track in Belfast. These championships are open to all comers over 35 years of age, and they attracted a good entry from all four provinces of Ireland, as well as several athletes who made the trip across from Scotland and England.

Just as he had done in this competition last year, Tom won gold in the Over 45 Hammer and silver in the Shot Putt. However, despite the very showery conditions, his performances this year were well ahead of those which he had registered 12 months ago.

In the Hammer his best throw came in the third round, as he flung the 16 lbs implement out to 18.55m. This was a lifetime best and well ahead of his winning 17.10m performance in 2008. Last year he had a best of 8.04m in the Shot, but this time round all six of his throws were well ahead of that mark. The best came in the fifth round, and was measured at 8.68m.

The weekend after next Tom, along with three other St Peter’s AC coaches – Maria Duffy, Kathleen McConnell and Angela McDonald – and 13 young athletes from the club, will be travelling to Scotland for the Pitreavie AC Young Athletes’ Trophy meet in Dunfermline. The athletes, who range in age from 11 to 16, have been training hard all year, and are now looking forward to finishing their season off in some style in what, for most of them, will be their first competition outside Ireland.

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