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Reports - May 2011

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31 May 2011

Four athletes from St Peter's AC were in action in last weekend's Leinster Championship events. On Saturday Gabriel Bell and Adam Stewart made the relatively short trip to Navan where they competed at Under 11 level, while on Sunday Emily Rogers and Frances Rogers made the longer trip to Kilkenny for the provincial Junior (Under 20) and Under 23 championships.

Gabriel and Adam were competing as a pair in Navan, as is customary in the provincial and national track and field championships for the Under 9 to Under 11 age groups. They contested both the 60m and Long Jump. Although they finished outside the medals, they both performed well, with Gabriel leaping an excellent 3.75m in the Long Jump.

Emily and Frances also performed very well in Kilkenny, and were duly rewarded with Leinster medals. Emily cleared 1.60m for victory in the Junior High Jump. Frances had her best throw in over two years in the Under 23 Shot Putt, recording 10.49m to claim the silver medal. This was an agonizing 2cm behind the winner. For good measure she also took bronze in the Discus with a throw in excess of 21 metres.

Next weekend's fixtures include the Irish Schools' Championships in Tullamore on Saturday and the Louth Community Games in Drogheda on Sunday. Emily Rogers and Mark Rogers have both qualified to compete in the High Jump in Tullamore. Although there is no longer any Community Games in St Peter's AC's core catchment area of Dromiskin and Darver, some of the club's athletes living in other areas such as Togher and Dundalk are expected to compete in Drogheda.

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24 May 2011

The six athletes from St Peter's AC who competed in the Leinster Schools' Championships at Santry in Dublin last Wednesday and Saturday produced some excellent medal-winning and personal best performances. All of them were a credit both to their schools and to the Dromiskin-based club.

On Wednesday Lauren Finegan, representing Greenhills, was in action early, as the Minor (U14) Javelin started at 10 a.m. She got things off to a great start as she threw 27.80m for victory. This is a PB for Lauren with the 500g implement and was less than a metre short of the Leinster Schools' championship best performance. Later in the day she claimed a fine 5th place in the Long Jump, leaping 4.07m into a stiff headwind.

Liam Fussey of Scoil Uí Mhuirí then made it a double for the club in the Minor Javelin events, as he added nearly 6 metres to his PB to win gold with a great throw of 31.44m. This represents a tremendous breakthrough for a very promising young athlete. His sister Niamh Fussey, also a Scoil Uí Mhuirí student, likewise smashed her PB, as she zipped over the barriers in 13.13 seconds for bronze in the Inter (U17) 80m Hurdles.

Mark Rogers, in the colours of St Joseph's CBS, started his day on Wednesday by running his second fastest 800m ever for 4th place in the Junior (U15) event. Due to a misinterpretation of the rules he was then prevented from competing in the Junior High Jump but, upon appeal, he was allowed to compete alongside the Minor high jumpers later in the afternoon. He proceeded to clear 1.71m, a full 12cm higher than the official winner of the Junior High Jump, and should thus be allowed through to next month's Irish Schools' Championships.

Martin McGrane, representing Castleknock Community College, was also in great form on Wednesday, as he set PBs in both his events in the Minor age group. He added over 4 metres to his previous best in the Discus, throwing 25.25m for 4th place, having earlier recorded a fine 9.89m with the 3.25kg implement for 7th place in the Shot Putt.

Just one athlete from the club was in action on the second day of these championships on Saturday. The weather conditions were so bad that the Inter High Jump was contested in the indoor area under the main stand in Santry. This did not deter Emily Rogers of Greenhills, as she duly won the event with a clearance of 1.60m. She thus claimed her fourth successive Leinster Schools' High Jump title, maintaining her 100% record in this competition.

Olivia McDonald made her seasonal debut at a Dublin Senior Graded Meet in Santry last Wednesday night, where she was happy to throw 35.60m for 2nd place in the Javelin. It is good to see Olivia back in competitive action again and on the road to regaining the excellent form she enjoyed a few years ago.

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17 May 2011

The athletes of St Peter's AC were out in force for last weekend's Louth Championships at Bush, which incorporated track and field events for all age groups. Despite the unseasonably cool, blustery and showery conditions, they produced some great performances which warmed the hearts of their coaches and parents alike.

Emily Rogers and Gabriel Bell both set new new championship best performances in the juvenile events, with Emily clearing a personal best 1.67m in the U18 High Jump and Gabriel leaping a great 3.79m in the U11 Long Jump.

Other athletes from the Dromiskin-based club to win county titles included Daniel Mullen in the U12 Shot (7.21m), Martin McGrane in the U14 Shot (10.24m), Orlaith McMahon in the U14 200m, Nikayla Hamill in the U14 800m, Pádraic McGinn in the U15 Shot (7.35m), Liam Fussey in the U15 Javelin (25.93m), Lauren Finegan in the U15 Shot (8.40m) and Javelin (25.01m), Mark Rogers in the U16 800m, 1500m and 100m Hurdles, Niamh Fussey in the U17 100m Hurdles, High Jump (1.35m) and Long Jump, Brianán Conway in the U19 Javelin (22.35m), Ruairí Hickey in the U20 Shot (9.84m), Tom McGrane in the O45 Shot (9.25m) and Maria Duffy in the O45 Shot (6.94m) and Javelin (20.83m).

Also in action in the blue and black of St Peter's were Elizabeth Bell, Ava Brennan, Tadhg Brennan, Aoife Coleman, Shannon Doherty, Caoilte Hickey, Sarah Larney, Isabelle McCarron, Erin McGowan, Claire McKenna, Éamonn McManus, Michael Mullen, Dillon Rogers, Heather Rogers, Isabella Rogers, Katie Rogers and Adam Stewart. Several of these mounted the podium to claim silver or bronze medals and they can all be proud of their performances.

Emily Rogers had jumped her best ever height at the first session of the Louth Championships on Friday night. She was in action once more on Sunday afternoon at the AAI Games at Santry in Dublin. Up against the country's leading female high jumpers, she performed very well to take 2nd place with a height of 1.65m, just 2cm short of her new PB. At the same competition Frances Rogers finished 7th in the Shot with a good throw of 10.14m.

At the recent Dundalk Half-Marathon Shenda Rijnders had a fine run to finish 56th of the 94 female finishers in a time of 2:04:48. She went through the 10km mark in 58:52, which was much faster than the majority of the women ran in the actual 10K race which was held alongside the half-marathon.

This week the focus switches to the Leinster Schools' Championships at Santry on Wednesday and Saturday and the Blackrock AC Beach Races for the U8 to U16 age groups on Friday evening. Six athletes from St Peter's AC, all of whom were convincing winners of their events in last weekend's Louth Championships, have qualified to represent their secondary schools in the Leinster finals. These are Lauren Finegan, Liam Fussey, Niamh Fussey, Martin McGrane, Emily Rogers and Mark Rogers.

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10 May 2011

Dublin's Santry Stadium was the venue for the second day of the North Leinster Schools' Championships last Friday. St Peter's AC athlete Emily Rogers maintained her 100&percent; record in these championships, as she leapt 1.60m to win gold in the Intermediate (U17) High Jump. This was the fourth successive year in which Emily has won the North Leinster Schools' title while representing her Drogheda school Our Lady's College, Greenhills.

Mark Rogers, Emily's brother, was also in action in Santry, where he helped his school, St Joseph's CBS, to bronze in the Junior (U15) 4x100m relay. It is noteworthy that all six athletes from the Dromiskin-based club who competed for their schools in this year's North Leinster and West Leinster Championships won medals and have qualified to compete in the finals of the Leinster Schools' Championships later this month.

Last Wednesday night St Peter's AC athlete Pamela McConnell made a return to athletics after a 10-year absence from the sport. She had an excellent run in the Dundalk 10K Road Race to come home in a time of 54:32, which earned her a very creditable 55th place among the 514 female finishers.

Three days previously Catherine Rogers and Kay Morris also had good performances over the same distance in the Boyne 10K Road Race in Drogheda. Catherine clocked 56:25 and Kay was not too far behind as she crossed the line in a time of 58:28. Both their times showed significant improvement from those which they had registered in the recent Great Ireland Run in the Phoenix Park.

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3 May 2011

The athletes of Dromiskin-based St Peter's AC were in action on a number of fronts last week, both locally in County Louth and further afield in Counties Antrim and Donegal. There were several fine performances, none more so than those of Hilary Kerr and Frances Rogers at the Irish Universities' Championships in Antrim last Friday.

Hilary produced the best Long Jump performance of her career to date to win the inter-varsity title with a personal best leap of 5.41m. Representing the Royal College of Surgeons, she came out on top in a very competitive event, as a mere 5cm separated the top four. It is heartening to see Hilary back in top form once again after a quiet year for her in 2010.

Frances, competing in the colours of Trinity College, improved her seasonal best by 50cm to take silver in the Shot Putt with a fine throw of 10.21m. Frances had just missed out on the medals in last year's Irish Universities' Championships, but this year she has won a silver medal in both the indoor and outdoor inter-varsity championships.

Father and son Tom McGrane and Martin McGrane were also in top form last week, as both set personal bests in the Shot Putt at the Tír Chonaill AC Open Meet in Donegal on Easter Monday. Tom recorded 9.37m to win the Masters' event, while Martin, competing in an older age group than normal, finished 5th in the Under 15 event with a best of 9.83m.

Closer to home the same day Gabriel Bell and Ava Brennan had good runs in the Mountpleasant AC Road Races, as they both finished 7th in the Under 11 events.

The majority of the club's juvenile members were in action in Wednesday evening's Louth Pre-championship Meet in Bush, where the young athletes won several medals and recorded many fine performances. Those who competed included Elizabeth Bell, Gabriel Bell, Ava Brennan, Tadhg Brennan, Lauren Finegan, Liam Fussey, Niamh Fussey, Nikayla Hamill, Pádraic McGinn, Martin McGrane, Orlaith McMahon, Tadhg McNally, Daniel Mullen, Michael Mullen, Rachel Mullen, Emily Rogers, Heather Rogers, Mark Rogers, Bride van Rijn and Wim van Rijn.

The following day several St Peter's AC members and parents helped raised some funds for the club on the occasion of the club's annual Flag Day in Dundalk. The club greatly appreciates the organisational efforts of Geraldine Fussey, the collectors who gave of their time on the day and the members of the public for their generous contributions.

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