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Reports - June 2010

30 June » 23 June » 16 June » 9 June » 2 June »

30 June 2010

St Peter’s AC athlete Olivia McDonald made a welcome return to competition last Sunday at the Irish Under 23 Championships in Tullamore. The reigning Irish senior champion in the javelin had been sidelined since the end of last season by illness. However on Sunday she showed that she is well on the way to recovering her old form, as she won the national title with a throw of 38.37m, which is not too far off her lifetime best. This is also the Dromiskin-based club’s first gold medal at national level so far in 2010.

Emily Rogers was in Tullamore the previous day to represent Leinster in the Tailteann Games. This is a Schools’ Interprovincial match at Under 17 level, which also serves as a trial for the Anglo-Celtic Schools’ International. The Greenhills College schoolgirl, recently returned from a Youth Olympic training camp in Romania, was in great form as she equalled her personal best of 1.66m in the High Jump.

This was good enough for 2nd place behind Limerick athlete Aisling Croke, which should ensure Emily’s selection for the Irish Schools’ team. This year’s Schools’ International match, in which England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales will each be represented by two athletes per event, will be staged in Glasgow on Saturday 17th July. Emily also represented Ireland in this international last year, which will undoubtedly prove a benefit to her this time round in terms of experience gained at this level.

Another St Peter’s AC athlete in good form at the weekend was veteran shot putter Tom McGrane. Having delayed his start to the season due to injury, he returned to the throwing circle on Sunday at the Northern Ireland Open Masters’ Championships at the Mary Peters Track in Belfast. There he took silver in the Over 45 age group behind Dublin athlete Eric Brady. Tom’s best throw of 8.83m was just 16cm short of his lifetime best.

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23 June 2010

The Leinster Juvenile Championships for athletes in the Under 13 to 19 age groups were staged in Tullamore last weekend. The athletes from Dromiskin-based St Peter’s AC responded to the glorious weather conditions to produce a string of fine performances and win three gold, four silver and two bronze medals.

Mark Rogers equalled his personal best of 1.74m to win the Under 15 High Jump title on Saturday, and also took silver in the 80m Hurdles that same day. He clocked 2:14.93 in the 800m on Sunday – his second best performance ever at this event – but the stiff competition meant he had to be satisfied with 5th place.

Lauren Finegan is another St Peter’s AC athlete who continues to show great promise. She won the Under 14 Javelin and finished 4th in the Shot Putt on Saturday. In these particular championships 4th place is not as heartbreaking as normal, as the top four advance to compete in the Irish Championships next month.

Nikayla Hamill also had a great day on Saturday, winning gold as part of the Louth Under 13 4x100m relay team, and finishing 8th in the Long Jump, just one place and a single centimetre ahead of her friend and clubmate, Orlaith McMahon.

Niamh Fussey ran well for bronze in the Under 16 80m Hurdles and also won silver with the Louth Under 17 4x100m squad – both on Saturday. She returned to Tullamore on Sunday when she leapt 4.40m for 4th place in the Long Jump.

St Peter’s AC picked up three more medals in the throwing events on Sunday. Brianán Conway, a club stalwart for several years, took silver in the Under 18 Javelin just half a metre behind the winner. Newcomer Ruairí Hickey also took silver at Under 18 level with a best of 10.40m in the Shot Putt. Éamonn McManus exceeded expectations, throwing 8.87m for a fine bronze in the Under 15 Shot.

Other St Peter’s AC athletes who performed well in Tullamore included Martin McGrane (5th Under 13 Shot 8.65m), Heather Rogers (8th Under 13 High Jump 1.15m), Megan Finnegan, Caoilte Hickey and Pádraic McGinn.

This weekend’s competitions include the Under 17 Schools’ Interprovincial on Saturday, in which Emily Rogers will represent Leinster in the High Jump, and the Irish Junior Championships and the Northern Ireland Masters’ Championships, both on Sunday. Tullamore will once again be the venue for the Schools’ Interprovincial and the Junior Championships, while the Masters’ Championships will be staged at the Mary Peters Track in Belfast.

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16 June 2010

The Louth Community Games athletics finals were contested at Meadowview in Drogheda last Sunday afternoon. Despite the inclement weather conditions the athletes from St Peter’s AC, who were representing their home communities, were in tremendous form and five of them won their events to advance to the national finals. This will be easily the biggest representation of recent years for the Dromiskin-based club in the National Community Games, which will be staged in Athlone in late August.

Lauren Finegan, representing Togher & Termonfeckin, won the Under 14 Girls’ Shot Putt with a great personal best of 6.96m. Martin McGrane, representing St Joseph’s, Dundalk, won the equivalent Boys’ event, also recording a personal best of 6.86m. Both were throwing the heavier than normal 3.25kg implement.

They will be joined on the Louth team in Athlone by their St Peter’s AC clubmates Megan Finnegan (Under 14 Long Jump), Mark Rogers (Under 14 80m Hurdles) and Emily Rogers (Under 16 High Jump). Also in Drogheda on Sunday, Heather Rogers had a great series of throws to take silver in the Under 12 Ball Throw, just missing out on qualification for the national finals. All these athletes were representing the Togher & Termonfeckin area.

Martin McGrane also threw a personal best with the 2kg shot recently when he won a bronze medal with an 8.85m throw at the Dublin Primary Schools’ Championships in Santry Stadium. He was representing St Patrick’s NS, Castleknock.

Two of St Peter AC’s older athletes were in flying form in the Women’s Mini-Marathon through the streets of Dublin on the June Bank Holiday Monday. Catherine Rogers finished the 10km race in 53:58, with Kay Morris just a few seconds behind her. Both ladies were very pleased with their times, as they smashed their previous bests.

Several athletes from the club will travel to Tullamore this weekend for the Leinster Championships for the Under 13 to 19 age groups. Six athletes from the club have also been selected on the Louth teams for the inter-county 4x100m relays, which will also be contested in Tullamore. They are Nikayla Hamill (Under 13), Mark Rogers and Caoilte Hickey with Éamonn McManus as a sub (Under 15), Niamh Fussey (Under 17) and Grace Rogers (Under 19). Brendan Rogers from St Peter’s is the manager of the Under 15 Boys’ team.

The Louth Summer League for athletes born between 1992 (Under 19) and 2002 (Under 9) inclusive will be staged on Wednesday 7th July (Drogheda), Wednesday 21st July (Bush) and Wednesday 4th August (Ardee). The action starts at 6:30 p.m. each evening with the Javelin throw, and all other events follow at 7 p.m.

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9 June 2010

The outstanding potential of one young athlete from Dromiskin-based St Peter’s AC has been recognised by no less a body than the Olympic Council of Ireland. High jumper Emily Rogers has been invited by the Irish Olympic authorities to participate in a training camp later this month. The excellent facilities of their Romanian counterparts, located twenty-five miles to the north of Bucharest, will be the location for this intensive five-day camp.

Fifteen-year old Emily, who lives in Togher and is a student at Greenhills College in Drogheda, will go straight from her Junior Cert exams to the training camp. The squad will fly from Dublin to Bucharest in the evening of Thursday 17th June and will remain in Romania until the following Tuesday night.

Emily has been included in this elite squad because of her undoubted potential to make the Irish team for next year’s European Youth Olympic Festival in Trabzon, Turkey. The qualifying standard for the High Jump is expected to be around 1.72m. Emily’s current best is 1.66m, a height which she has cleared twice – at the Schools’ Interprovincial in June 2009 and again at last month’s Leinster Schools’ Championships.

Emily has also cleared 1.65m on several occasions – most recently last Saturday when taking bronze in the Intermediate Girls’ High Jump at the Irish Schools’ Championships in Tullamore. This was the same height as that cleared by the silver medallist, and just 3cm behind the winner. This was just the latest in a string of fine performances over the years by Emily, who will still be eligible for the Intermediate age group in next year schools’ championships.

Emily first got involved in athletics when she was just seven years old. She has been strongly supported all along by her parents Brendan Rogers and Catherine Rogers;, both of whom still compete in the sport themselves. Her athletics hero is the great Croatian high jumper Blanka Vlašić, the reigning World High Jump champion both outdoors and indoors.

Emily’s regards her international debut as her proudest moment in the sport to date. She first donned the green of Ireland in the Celtic Schools’ Indoor International in Cardiff in February 2009, and also represented Ireland in last summer’s Anglo-Celtic Schools’ International in Antrim.

Emily’s short term ambition is to make the Irish team for next year’s European Youth Olympics in Turkey, while in the longer term she aspires to compete in the Olympic Games one day. In the meantime, however, she will be sitting her Junior Cert exams over the coming days. All at St Peter’s AC send their very best wishes to Emily and all the other athletes from the club who are sitting their Leaving and Junior Cert exams at this time.

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2 June 2010

Athletes from Dromiskin-based St Peter’s AC were in action on a number of fronts last weekend. They recorded several fine performances and their efforts resulted in three Leinster medals – one gold and two bronze – being added to the club’s tally for the year.

On Saturday Ava Brennan and Méabh Hickey travelled to Tullamore for the Leinster Championships for the Under 9 to Under 12 age groups. In the younger age groups the athletes compete in pairs, with their combined times or distances determining their finishing position.

Ava and Méabh competed together in the Under 10 60m and Long Jump and performed well despite finishing outside the medals. Then Ava ran a great leg around the bend in the outside lane to help the Louth Under 11 Girls’ team win gold in the inter-county 4x100m relay.

The following day the Leinster Junior (Under 20) and Under 23 Championships were staged at the County Offaly venue. Cousins Frances Rogers and Emily Rogers made the trip to compete in the Junior events and were both rewarded with a place on the podium.

Frances finished 3rd in the Shot Putt with a best throw of 9.99m and also threw 22.39m for 6th place in the Discus. Emily also struck bronze as she leapt 1.60m in the High Jump. Emily is still an Under 17 athlete and her outstanding potential has been confirmed by her selection on an Irish squad which will travel to Romania for training later this month.

Several St Peter’s AC athletes ran in the Blackrock AC Beach Races on Friday evening. Niamh Fussey was in fine form as she came home 3rd in the Under 16 1200m race. The other athletes from the club who competed in this unique event included Ciara McNally, Tadgh McNally, Rachel Mullen and Darcy Raleigh.

On Saturday afternoon Martin McGrane finished 4th in the Under 14 Shot Putt at the Lucan Harriers Sports in Dublin, just 1cm behind the bronze medallist. However he was pleased to have thrown a personal best (with the 2.72kg shot) of 7.60m.

Two St Peter’s AC athletes will be in action in Tullamore this Saturday on one of the major days in the annual Irish athletics calendar. Hilary Kerr will represent St Louis, Dundalk and Emily Rogers will represent Greenhills College, Drogheda at the Irish Schools’ Championships. Both girls won gold at the recent Leinster Schools’ Championships to qualify for the national finals. Hilary contests the Senior Long Jump while Emily will be among the contenders in the Intermediate High Jump.

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