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Reports - January 2010

27 January » 20 January » 13 January » 6 January »

27 January 2010

St Peter’s AC had just a couple of athletes in action last weekend as one of their younger and one of their oldest members competed at opposite ends of the country. On Saturday Mark Rogers was in action in the IAAF International Cross Country in Antrim, while on Sunday Tom McGrane made the journey to Nenagh for the Irish Masters’ Indoor Championships.

Tom won the Dromiskin-based club’s first national medal of 2010 when he took bronze in the Over 45 Shot Putt with a best throw of 8.24m. This was his best ever distance indoors, although a little off his outdoor best performance. However the chilly conditions in the Nenagh arena last Sunday were not conducive to big performances. It also marked Tom’s first ever national medal in this event, having previously medalled in the Hammer and, in his younger days, in the sprints.

Mark lined up against a quality international field for the Under 15 race over 3.6km in Antrim. He faced opposition from Ireland, Scotland and England and did well to come home in 40th place in a time of 17:49. His efforts also contributed to the points total for his school team, St Joseph’s CBS, Drogheda.

Next Saturday Mark is expected to be in action once more – this time in his favourite event, the pentathlon. The occasion is the Irish Juvenile Indoor Combined Events’ Championships which will be staged at the arena in Nenagh.

The annual St Peter’s AC Awards Night, which had been due to take place earlier this month, has now been rescheduled and will be held on Saturday 20th February.

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20 January 2010

The 2010 indoor track and field season got underway last Saturday with the staging of the Irish Junior (Under 20) Championships in Nenagh. Dromiskin-based St Peter’s AC had two athletes in action in the County Tipperary arena – shot putter Frances Rogers and her cousin, high jumper Emily Rogers. Unfortunately both of them just missed out on the medals by extremely narrow margins.

Frances, who is currently a first year student of Law and German at Trinity College in Dublin, had a best putt on the day of 9.93m which left her in fourth place in the Shot. The three medallists in this event were all from Munster, with the bronze medallist registering 9.94cm – just a single centimetre further than Frances.

Emily is in her Junior Cert year in Greenhills College in Drogheda and will still be eligible for this age group up to and including 2013. She did well to clear 1.55m for fifth place in the High Jump, with two other athletes jointly sharing the bronze medal with that same height. However, as Emily needed two attempts to clear this height and both her opponents went over on their first attempts, she just missed out on a place on the podium.

The club training sessions are now back to the normal schedule following the Christmas and New Year break and the freezing weather conditions. These take place at 6:30 p.m. each Tuesday and Thursday evening at the facilities of St Joseph’s GFC in Dromiskin. See the club’s website – – for more details of training, competition and other news.

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13 January 2010

Next Saturday the Athletics Leinster Star Awards are due to be presented at a function in the Seven Oaks Hotel in Carlow. Recipient of the award for the best juvenile female athlete in County Louth for the fourth consecutive year will be Hilary Kerr of St Peter’s AC.

These awards are based on performances in Leinster championship competition during the past year. Hilary utterly dominated the sprints and long jump in her age group both indoors and out in 2009. Last February she won triple gold at Under 19 level in the provincial indoor championships in Nenagh with performances of 8.22sec in the 60m, 27.26sec in the 200m and 5.09m in the Long Jump. In June she replicated this feat in the outdoor championships in Tullamore with another impressive set of performances – 13.27sec in the 100m, 27.05sec in the 200m and 5.37m in the Long Jump.

While Hilary has now won this award each year since 2006, she was preceded by two other athletes from the Dromiskin-based club. Olivia McDonald, now Irish Senior Javelin champion, was honoured for the 2005 season and Shauna Martin, a fine all-rounder, took the laurels for 2004. Another St Peter’s AC athlete was the inaugural recipient of this accolade, when middle distance runner Aoife McCarthy was judged Louth’s outstanding juvenile female athlete at the end of the 2000 season.

The corresponding award for male athletes has gone to a St Peter’s AC athlete four times during the past decade. High jumper Kevin McManus was the most recent recipient following his great season in 2007. Prior to that javelin thrower Peter McDonald was a three-time winner for his efforts in 2002, 2004 and 2005.

In the decade since the unifying of the sport in Louth and Leinster with the formation of the Athletic Association of Ireland at the end of 1999, St Peter’s AC athletes have hence won 11 of the 20 Athletics Leinster Star Awards for the best juvenile athletes in the county. Hilary will no longer be eligible for this award next year, as she has now outgrown the juvenile ranks. However, given the fine crop of young athletes currently in St Peter’s, the Dromiskin club will undoubtedly continue to feature when these awards are presented in the years to come.

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6 January 2010

Following a short break for Christmas and the New Year, the athletes of St Peter’s AC resume training tomorrow (Thursday) evening at 6:30 p.m. in the St Joseph’s GFC Community Centre in Dromiskin. Many of them will now be focusing on fine-tuning their preparations for the forthcoming indoor track and field season.

Among the competitions scheduled during January and February are five Irish championship meets on five successive weekends. First of these is the Junior Championships on Saturday 16th January, while eight days later the Masters’ Championships will be staged. The following Saturday it is the turn of the Juvenile athletes to bid for national glory in the Combined Events. On the first weekend in February the premier domestic meet of the season – the Irish Senior Championships - will be staged on Saturday and Sunday. Then on Saturday 13th February student athletes from the country’s third level colleges will take centre stage at the Universities’ Championships.

The multi-purpose Odyssey Arena in Belfast will be the venue for the National Senior Championships, while the other meets will be contested at the permanent indoor track in Nenagh. The County Tipperary town is also the venue for the Leinster Championships which will take place on Sunday 31st January (for Juniors, Seniors, Masters and Relays) and again on the last weekend in February (for Juvenile individual events). Juvenile athletes in the Under 14 to 17 age groups will also have the opportunity to compete in the Ulster Juvenile Championships, which will be staged at the Odyssey Arena alongside the Irish Senior Championships.

Complementing the training and competitions during the coming weeks will be the St Peter’s AC Annual Awards Night. This will be held on Saturday week (16th January) in the St Joseph’s GFC clubrooms and is sure to be an enjoyable night for all associated with the club.

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