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Reports - February 2010

24 February » 17 February » 10 February » 3 February »

24 February 2010

Last Saturday the members, parents and friends of St Peter’s AC took a break from the rigours of training and competition for the club’s annual awards function. This was held in the St Joseph’s GFC clubrooms in Dromiskin, and the athletics club is very grateful to the GAA club for the use of its fine facilities.

There was an excellent turnout of athletes and their family members for what turned out to be a very enjoyable celebration the club’s many achievements during 2009 – possibly the most successful year ever in the history of the club. The MC on the night was Angela McGinn, who did an excellent job, while great credit also goes to Kathleen McConnell and Angela McDonald for all their efforts in organising the event.

The first awards on the night were presented to four athletes who won national titles in 2009: Olivia McDonald, Emily Rogers, Frances Rogers and Mark Rogers. It was also noted that both Olivia and Emily represented Ireland in international competition during the year.

The next set of awards went to those athletes who set championship best performances at the 2009 Louth Juvenile Track and Field Championships. These were Gabriel Bell, Hilary Kerr, Martin McGrane, Emily Rogers, Frances Rogers, Grace Rogers and Mark Rogers.

Merit awards were then presented to Elizabeth Bell and Pádraic McGinn. Lauren Finegan was honoured with an Achievement award, while Nikayla Hamill was a deserving winner of the Cross Country Athlete of the Year award.

Next up were the track and field Athlete of the Year awards. The award winners for the juvenile age groups were Hilary Kerr (girls) and Mark Rogers (boys). Gabriel Bell and Kian O’Brien also received awards as joint runners-up in the juvenile boys’ category. The Senior Athlete of the Year award went to Olivia McDonald and the Masters’ award to Tom McGrane.

St Peter’s AC also presents five perpetual trophies each year. This year the Richardson Shield went to Megan Finnegan and the Richardson Cup went to Frances Rogers. Orlaith McMahon was awarded the Angela McDonald Trophy, while Niamh Fussey was presented with the Maria Mackin Shield. Finally Emily Rogers was honoured with the Jumps Cup.

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17 February 2010

When Dromiskin athletics club St Peter’s AC was re-established in 1986, one of the founding members was Maria Mackin, a leading young heptathlete and hurdler. Now known as Maria Duffy, she is still active in the sport and in the club all these years later. Ever one to seek out a new challenge, last Sunday she made her debut as a duathlete.

The occasion was the first in a series of duathlon races organised by Dundalk-based Setanta Triathlon Club, and consisted of a 3.2km run followed by a 19km cycle and finally another 3.2km run. The course was quite a challenging one, as the event was held in the hilly terrain around Ravensdale. However the competitors were fortunate to be favoured by benevolent weather conditions.

Maria completed the race in an overall time of 1 hour 13 minutes 14 seconds. This was an excellent performance and resulted in her being the first woman home in the 40 to 49 age category.

She completed the first 3.2km run in 15:19, then cycled 19km in 38:52 and finished off with a 16:17 clocking for the second run. Her transition time from run to bike was 1:33, while from bike back to run it was just 1:11.

When interviewed after the race Maria was very pleased with her performance, although she remarked: "I found the jelly legs so strange when having to run again after the bike ride".

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10 February 2010

St Peter’s AC athlete Mark Rogers was once again in top form last week, as he produced a great series of performances in both Dublin and Belfast.

On Saturday he was in the Odyssey Arena to contest three events at Under 15 level in the Ulster Juvenile Indoor Championships, and came away with a complete collection of medals – one each of gold, silver and bronze.

Mark won the High Jump by a huge 25cm margin with a very impressive clearance at 1.70m, his second highest on record. On the track he smashed his previous personal best in a very competitive 800m, clocking 2:15.77 to claim the silver medal. He completed his medal collection with a fine 10.05 performance for bronze in the 60m Hurdles.

Mark’s medal-winning performances in Belfast were achieved while representing the Dromiskin-based athletics club. The previous Wednesday he represented his school, St Joseph’s CBS in Drogheda, in the North Leinster Schools’ Cross Country Championships at Dublin City University. There he came home in 2nd place in a large field in the Minor (Under 14) race over a 1500m course, and thus comfortably qualified for the Leinster Schools’ Championships, which will be staged at Santry in Dublin on Wednesday 24th February.

St Peter’s AC members who have not yet paid their registration fee of 25 euro for 2010 are requested to do so as soon as possible. Registration with the Athletic Association of Ireland is essential so that athletes are insured while training with the club and are eligible to take part in competitions.

All those attending the annual club Awards night on Saturday 20th February, who have not already done so, must inform Angela McDonald so that the appropriate catering arrangements can be made.

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3 February 2010

Mark Rogers, the talented young Togher athlete who is a member of St Peter’s AC in Dromiskin, made the trip down to Nenagh last Saturday for the Irish Juvenile Combined Events’ Indoor Championships. Competing in the Under 16 age group, for which he will still be eligible in 2011, he produced a great series of performances to win bronze in the Pentathlon.

Undoubtedly Mark’s best individual performance over the five events was his 1.74m clearance in the High Jump. This is just a few inches short of 6 feet – an excellent height for a 13-year-old – and scored 903 points on the pentathlon tables. It also smashed his previous personal best of 1.68m and was the highest achieved during Saturday’s competition.

Mark’s 2:19.5 800m run also contributed greatly to his overall total, being worth 830 points. He backed this up with solid performances in the other three events, recording 10.2s in the 60m Hurdles (632 points), 10.22m in the Shot Putt (499 points) and 4.77m in the Long Jump (498 points). This gave him a final total of 3362 points, which was by far the best of any of those athletes who will still be in this Under 16 age group next year.

All those attending the annual St Peter’s AC Awards Night on Saturday 20th February should inform Angela McDonald as soon as possible so that the appropriate catering arrangements can be made. This is always a very enjoyable family night for all club members, their parents and other relatives and friends. It is one of the few opportunities for all those associated with the club in whatever away to spend a few hours together in a relaxed setting away from the demands of training and the pressures of competition.

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