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Reports - August 2011

30 August » 23 August » 16 August » 9 August » 2 August »

30 August 2011

With the 2011 track and field season now drawing to a close, last weekend was a quiet one for St Peter's AC, as the Dromiskin-based club had just one athlete in action. That was Tom McGrane, who brought his own season to a conclusion with an excellent victory in the Northern Ireland Open Masters' Championship at the Mary Peters Track in Belfast on Saturday afternoon.

Having taken silver in the Over 45 Shot Putt event in these championships in 2008, 2009 and 2010, Tom produced his second best ever throw to claim the 2011 championship title. His winning throw of 9.26m came in the second round and, at the end of the four rounds of competition, it left him over a metre clear of the field. The silver medallist was Aiden Watters of Annalee AC in Co Cavan, who registered a best of 8.08m on the day.

Tom was naturally delighted to return home with the gold medal and was also very pleased with the distance he achieved in Belfast. It was second only to his lifetime best performance of 9.37m, which he recorded at the Tír Chonaill AC Open Meet in Donegal in April this year. Having finished off his season on a high note, he will undoubtedly start into his winter training with high hopes of another good year in 2012.

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23 August 2011

Last weekend was an extremely successful one for St Peter's AC, as athletes from the Dromiskin-based club produced some great performances at the Irish Masters' Championships in Tullamore, the Southport Waterloo Open Meet in Liverpool and the National Community Games in Athlone.

Maria Duffy returned to national championship action after a break of four years and she certainly made her mark at the Irish Masters' Championships in Tullamore on Sunday. She won gold in the O45 Long Jump (3.80m) and silver in the Javelin (21.90m), and was also in line for a medal in the 200m when forced to pull up with a hamstring injury 40 metres from the finish.

A team of 13 athletes from the club had a superb day at the Southport Waterloo Open Meet at the Litherland track in Liverpool on Saturday, winning five gold, two silver and four bronze medals. This popular competition, to which St Peter's also sent a team last year, attracted athletes from throughout the North of England, as well as some from the English Midlands and the Isle of Man.

St Peter's finished a very impressive 6th out of 34 clubs on the final medal table, behind only the big Merseyside and Manchester clubs Southport Waterloo, Wirral, Sale Harriers, Liverpool Harriers and Liverpool Pembroke & Sefton AC.

The two youngest members of the team, who were competing in the U11 events, were particularly impressive. Ava Brennan won gold in the 75m (11.7) and set a personal best in finishing 2nd in the Long Jump (3.62m). She also finished 9th overall in the 150m (25.0). Gabriel Bell took gold in the Long Jump (3.64m) and bronze in the 75m (11.4), and finished 6th overall in the 150m (24.7).

St Peter's AC won three gold medals in the Senior events. Emily Rogers had a double in the High Jump (1.60m) and 100m Hurdles (22.3), while Darren Tuite was the victor in the 3000m (10:54.7).

The club's other medals all came in the Shot Putt. Martin McGrane rounded off a fine season with silver at U15 level (8.42m), with Michael Mullen taking bronze behind him (5.93m). Tom McGrane, Martin's dad, finished 3rd in the Senior event (9.06m) and Éamonn McManus was likewise a bronze medallist in the U17 category (8.51m).

Ian McDonald just missed out on a medal in the Senior 100m, as he came home in 4th place (12.5). Heather Rogers was 5th in a very close U15 Shot Putt competition (5.93m) and 8th overall in the 300m (53.6). Nikayla Hamill ran well for 5th in the U15 800m (2:39.4) and also finished 12th in the Long Jump (3.89m).

Orlaith McMahon had a busy day, finishing 7th overall in the 200m (31.4), 9th in the Long Jump (4.06m) and 10th overall in the 100m (14.7). Her 100m time was a personal best performance. Elizabeth Bell was also in action in the U15 100m, in which she finished 13th overall (15.8). She could undoubtedly have gone faster if she hadn't been hampered by a recent knee injury.

The athletes, the majority of whom were competing outside their normal age groups, were accompanied to England by coaches Kathleen McConnell and Angela McDonald and by parents Paddy Bell, Tom Brennan, Bernadette Muckian and Catherine Rogers. Bernadette availed of the opportunity to compete in the Senior 3000m in the colours of North East Runners, in which she claimed the silver medal (11:56.6).

At the National Community Games finals in Athlone on Sunday Mark Rogers had a great win in the U16 High Jump in a new personal best height (1.81m). Lauren Finegan was also in fine form at this competition, as she claimed silver in the U16 Javelin. Both Mark and Lauren were representing the Togher area, and both will still be in the U16 age group for the Community Games in 2012.

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16 August 2011

This coming weekend a team of thirteen athletes from St Peter's AC is due to travel to England to compete in Saturday's Southport Waterloo AC Open Meet at the Litherland track in Liverpool. The Dromiskin-based club also sent a team to this competition last year, which returned home with a very impressive medal haul.

Medals will probably be harder to come by this time around, as only three of the thirteen athletes will be competing in their normal age groups. However, if the weather conditions are favourable, all athletes will be aiming to exceed or get close to their personal best performances.

The athletes comprising the team are Elizabeth Bell, Gabriel Bell, Ava Brennan, Nikayla Hamill, Ian McDonald, Martin McGrane, Tom McGrane, Orlaith McMahon, Éamonn McManus, Michael Mullen, Emily Rogers, Heather Rogers and Darren Tuite. They will be accompanied by coaches Kathleen McConnell and Angela McDonald, as well as by parents Paddy Bell, Tom Brennan, Bernadette Muckian and Catherine Rogers.

Martin McGrane and Ava Brennan warmed up for their trip to Liverpool by competing at the Boyne AC Open Sports in Drogheda on Sunday. Martin moved up a couple of age groups to tackle the Under 16 Shot Putt, in which he was throwing the 4kg implement for the first time. He did very well to throw 9.07m for 2nd place behind Daniel Finley of Glenmore AC, the reigning Leinster champion in this age group.

Ava was agonisingly close to the medals in both her events at Under 11 level, with 4th place finishes in both the 100m and 300m. She recorded a time of 57.7 seconds in the longer race. Tadhg Brennan, Ava's younger brother, was also in action in Drogheda, where he had a good run in the Under 9 80m.

Club treasurer and coach Kathleen McConnell was also busy at the weekend, as she once again fulfilled the role of team manager with the Irish team at the Celtic Games international in Antrim.

St Peter's AC will also have two athletes in action at the National Community Games in Athlone next Sunday. Lauren Finegan and Mark Rogers, both representing the Togher area, will compete in the Under 16 Javelin and the Under 16 High Jump respectively.

All athletes and their parents should note that the club training session on Tuesday 16th August is the final one before the end-of-season break. Training sessions will resume in September (date to be advised).

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9 August 2011

Last weekend Olivia McDonald and Emily Rogers from Dromiskin-based St Peter's AC competed in the Irish Senior Championships at Santry in Dublin. Olivia hit top form to take bronze in the Javelin, her fifth time to win a national senior medal in this event. Emily, on the other hand, was competing in these championships for the first time and did well to finish 5th in the High Jump.

Olivia went into action in Santry on Saturday afternoon and she produced her best throw since 2009, firing the javelin 38.47 metres out into the centre of the arena. At the end of the six rounds of competition this left her in 3rd place behind javelin specialist Anita Fitzgibbon of Dundrum South Dublin and all-round thrower Claire Fitzgerald of Tralee Harriers, who also won the Shot Putt and Discus titles at the weekend.

Olivia thus added another bronze medal to her ever-growing collection of national senior championship medals. She had previously won bronze in 2006 and 2007, silver in 2008 and gold in 2009. The quality of her performance this year can be appreciated when it is noted that her 38.47m throw on Saturday is further than the 38.11m with she won the title two years ago.

On Sunday afternoon it was Emily's turn to take the stage alongside the country's leading female high jumpers. The seventeen-year-old did well to claim 5th place on her debut in these championships. Her best clearance on the day of 1.60m was a little below her personal best of 1.68m, but the experience will no doubt stand her in good stead. Victory went to Irish record holder Deirdre Ryan of Dundrum South Dublin with a leap of 1.90m.

Meanwhile on Saturday morning the inaugural Viking 10K Road Race was staged on a very scenic and mostly flat course on the roads around Annagassan. On what turned out to be a showery day, the sun shone throughout the race, although this probably made it a little too warm for fast times. This race honoured the memory of local man Noel Carroll, one of Ireland's greatest ever athletes. His brother Patsy started the race and some of his family members participated in the event.

As Noel began his career in the sport with St Peter's AC, it was fitting that the club had three members running, who all finished well within the top half of the female finishers. Joan Lavin marked her return to Ireland with a fine run, as she crossed the line in 33rd place in a time of 55:46. Catherine Rogers was just one place and one second behind Joan, while Kay Morris was a little further back in 44th place in a time of 58:01.

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2 August 2011

Just five young athletes from St Peter's AC made the short trip to Ardee for last Sunday's Open Sports promoted by Ardee & District AC. This competition was well supported by clubs across a wide area stretching from North Dublin to Newry and Monaghan. However, whatever the Dromiskin-based club's team may have lacked in quantity, it certainly more than made up for in quality. Each of the athletes won at least one medal and they finished with an overall tally of two gold, three silver and one bronze.

Nikayla Hamill, Orlaith McMahon and Heather Rogers were first into action when they contested the Under 14 Girls' 100m. They crossed the line in that order in 2nd, 3rd and 4th places. Shortly afterwards Pádraic McGinn went to the line for the Under 15 Boys' 100m. He came home in 9th place in what proved to be one of the day's more competitive events.

Next on the programme were the Under 15 Shot Putt events. St Peter's AC recorded a great one-two in the Boys' event. Martin McGrane won easily with a very impressive throw of 10.09m and Pádraic claimed silver with a personal best of 7.84m, over a metre clear of the bronze medallist. Heather likewise threw a PB (with the 2.72kg implement) of 7.02m to take silver in the Girls' event, with Orlaith finishing 4th with a best effort of 5.60m.

Nikayla rounded off the afternoon in fine style with a great victory in the Under 14 Girls' 800m. She was in a class of her own in the two-lap event as she dominated the race from gun to tape.

The previous evening Tom McGrane contested the Senior Men's Shot Putt at the Dublin Graded Meet in Santry. He finished in 2nd place with a throw of 9.17m, 20cm short of his PB but an improvement on his last couple of competitive outings.

Earlier last week twenty of the club's younger athletes competed in the final round of the Louth Juvenile League in Bush. There was a host of fine performances by the team which included Elizabeth Bell, Gabriel Bell, Ava Brennan, Brianán Conway, Lauren Finegan, Liam Fussey, Niamh Fussey, Nikayla Hamill, Philip Larney, Sarah Larney, Pádraic McGinn, Claire McKenna, Orlaith McMahon, Éamonn McManus, Rachel Mullen, Dillon Rogers, Emily Rogers, Heather Rogers, Katie Rogers and Ben Slowey.

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