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Reports - July 2010

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28 July 2010

Last Saturday morning in Tullamore three athletes from St Peter’s AC were in action on the final day of this year’s Irish Juvenile Championships. They continued the fine tradition of the Dromiskin-based club in the field events, adding a gold medal and a silver medal to the club’s list of national honours.

Emily Rogers, one of the club’s outstanding athletes in recent years, tied for 1st place with two other girls in the Under 17 High Jump. All three successfully cleared 1.60m, but failed in their attempts at the next height. In previous years this situation would have resulted in a jump-off to decide the winner but, following a recent rule change in athletics, the tie now remains as the final result and all three girls were duly presented with a gold medal.

Brianán Conway has been a regular competitor in these championships in recent years, normally finishing well up the field but outside the medals. This time, however, she made an extremely well-deserved breakthrough to take silver in the Under 18 Javelin. She threw the 600g implement over 25 metres, which also represented a personal best performance for her.

The third St Peter’s competitor in Tullamore was Ian McDonald, who was in action in the Under 19 Long Jump. He continued to show good form on his road to recovery from his recent injury with a leap of 5.18m.

Next weekend a number of St Peter’s AC athletes will travel to Tullamore once again for the Irish Juvenile Combined Events Championships and the Irish Juvenile B Championships. Then on the evening of Tuesday 3rd August the club should be well-represented at the North Down AC Meet in Bangor, while the final round of the Louth Juvenile League will be staged in Ardee on Thursday 4th August.

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21 July 2010

For the second year in succession St Peter’s AC athlete Emily Rogers represented Ireland in the annual Anglo-Celtic Schools’ International, which was staged last Saturday. The venue for this year’s match, involving teams from England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales in the Under 17 age group, was Scotstoun Stadium in Glasgow.

Emily performed very well to finish in 4th place in the High Jump with a leap of 1.60m. This was a significant improvement on her performance in the same competition in 2009, when she had recorded an 8th place finish.

The winner on Saturday was Ffion Bodilly of Wales with a best of 1.70m, ahead of Emily’s Irish teammate Aisling Croke and Kate Anson of England, both of whom cleared 1.65m. Behind Emily came both athletes from the host nation, as well as the second-string representatives from England and Wales.

The high winds which caused such havoc in the Open Golf Championship at St Andrews on Scotland’s east coast also made for very difficult conditions in Glasgow. Hence the heights achieved by Emily and her rivals were below their personal bests and the emphasis for the athletes was on placing as highly as possible to score points for their countries.

When the points were totalled at the end of the day, England once again came out on top. However Emily’s efforts helped the Irish team meet its pre-competition target of finishing in 2nd place, ahead of Celtic rivals Scotland and Wales.

There was an excellent turnout of St Peter’s AC athletes for last Wednesday night’s Louth Junior, Senior and Masters’ Championships at the Bush track. Between them they scooped 11 gold, 4 silver and 2 bronze medals.

Brendan Rogers led the way with four titles in the Masters’ Over 50 category. He was victorious in the 100m (14.0), Long Jump (4.43m), Shot Putt (7.84m) and Javelin (23.13m). Catherine Rogers was also in great form on her track and field debut for the club. She took gold in the Over 45 400m (1:36.1) and Javelin (10.67m), and silver in the 3000m (16:15). Brendan and Catherine are the parents of high jumper Emily.

Olivia McDonald, the Dromiskin-based club’s only representative at Senior level, was also in excellent form. She recorded a fine double with victories in the Shot Putt (8.35m) and Javelin (36.25m). Her brother Ian McDonald won a medal of each hue in the Junior (Under 20) events – gold in the Long Jump (5.15m), silver in the 100m (11.6) and bronze in the Javelin (31.13m).

St Peter’s AC won two further county titles in the throws, with Brianán Conway taking the Junior Javelin title (24.62m) and Tom McGrane victorious in the Over 45 Shot Putt (8.89m).

The other three athletes from the club in action in Bush last Wednesday also finished in the medals. Ruairí Hickey and Darren Tuite were both silver medallists at Junior level – the former in the Shot Putt (9.17m) and the latter in the Long Jump (5.01m) – while Kay Morris took bronze in the Over 45 3000m (16:15).

Meanwhile Fiona Mackin ran her first ever 5 mile road race in Dublin’s Phoenix Park on Saturday morning last and was pleased with her official finishing time of 55:48, which placed her 868th in the Senior Women’s category.

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14 July 2010

All those connected with Dromiskin-based St Peter’s AC were delighted to learn that club member Emily Rogers has been selected to represent Ireland in the High Jump in this Saturday’s Schools’ International at Scotstoun Stadium in Glasgow. The Togher native is a student at Greenhills College in Drogheda and her outstanding recent form gave the selectors no option but to include her in the Irish team for the second year in succession.

Emily has jumped her personal best of 1.66m twice this summer – at the Leinster Schools’ Championships in Dublin’s Santry Stadium in May and again at the Tailteann Games Schools’ Interprovincial in Tullamore last month. In between these two performances she sat her Junior Certificate exams and then travelled to Romania for a five-day training camp for outstanding youth athletes organised by the Olympic Council of Ireland.

The annual Schools’ International match dates back to 1961. In the initial years it involved teams from England, Scotland and Wales, with Northern Ireland first competing in 1963. Then in 1968 a team representing the entire island of Ireland replaced the Northern Ireland team. This match is contested at Under 17 level only, and two other St Peter’s AC athletes have represented Ireland in this event in previous years – javelin throwers Peter McDonald in 2003 and his sister Olivia McDonald in 2006.

On the local front there are a number of fixtures to keep the club’s athletes busy during July. On Tuesday 6th July there were several fine performances in the first round of the Louth Juvenile League in Drogheda. Among those in action were Elizabeth Bell, Gabriel Bell, Ava Brennan, Liam Fussey, Niamh Fussey, Nikayla Hamill, Caoilte Hickey, Meabh Hickey, Ruairí Hickey, Philip Larney, Ian McDonald, Pádraic McGinn, Orlaith McMahon, Éamonn McManus, Tadgh McNally, Daniel Mullen, Michael Mullen, Darcy Raleigh and Heather Rogers.

The club’s older athletes will have the opportunity to compete at the Louth Junior, Senior and Masters’ Championships in Bush tonight (Wednesday), while the second round of the Louth Juvenile League is slated for the same venue this night week.

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7 July 2010

Five athletes from St Peter’s AC were in action in Tullamore last weekend. The occasion was the first weekend of the Irish Juvenile Championships and it was a successful outing for the Dromiskin-based club, as they won one gold and one silver medal.

Mark Rogers was crowned joint Irish champion in the Under 15 High Jump on Sunday, as he leapt 1.68m to tie for 1st place with David Cussen of Old Abbey AC in County Cork. Conditions on the day were very difficult with gale force winds sweeping through the arena, thus militating against personal best performances.

Mark’s Togher neighbour, Lauren Finegan, threw 27.09m for a fine silver in the Under 14 Javelin behind Jacqui Burns of Cookstown High School in County Tyrone, who set a new championship best performance in this event with a mark of 33.73m.

Two St Peter’s AC shot putters were making their debut at national level and both performed well. Ruairí Hickey recorded 10.18m for 7th place in the Under 18 event, while Éamonn McManus finished 10th at Under 15 level with a good throw of 9.27m. Also in action was Ian McDonald, just returning from injury, who ran in the Under 19 100m.

Some of the club’s younger athletes ran in the Dundealgan AC Road Races in the Seatown area of Dundalk last Friday night. In the first race of the evening – the Under 10 Girls’ 600m – Ava Brennan ran strongly to finish in the medals with a battling 6th place performance. Even better was to come shortly afterwards in the equivalent Boys’ race. Gabriel Bell was in command throughout and his impressive victory was never in doubt.

Having just celebrated the Netherlands knocking Brazil out of the World Cup earlier in the evening, Wim van Rijn then made a promising debut for the club, despite finishing just outside the medals in his race. Also in action, but finding the going tough out of their normal age group, were siblings Daniel Mullen, Michael Mullen and Rachel Mullen. They are grandchildren of Phyllis Muckian, in whose memory the trophy for the best juvenile club at this event is presented. St Peter’s AC finished in 7th place in the rankings, with the trophy going to Ardee & District.

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