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Reports - October 2011

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25 October 2011

Five young athletes from Dromiskin-based St Peter's AC were in action last weekend as the local cross country season continued with fixtures in Monasterboice and Drogheda. The former was the venue for the second day of the Louth Juvenile Championships on Sunday, while two days previously St Joseph's CBS hosted the annual Drogheda and District Schools' Cross Country races.

Judith Bell had an excellent run in the Under 8 Girls' race at the Louth Championships, as she crossed the finish line in 4th place. These championships were staged over a tough course beside the famous round tower. Shortly afterwards Gabriel Bell, Judith's older brother, also had a good run in the challenging wet and windy conditions, as he came home in 9th place in the Under 11 Boys' race, which was contested over a 1500m course.

Three of the club's teenage athletes represented their secondary schools in Drogheda on Friday. Lauren Finegan, representing Our Lady's College, Greenhills, had a fine run to finish 6th in the Junior (Under 15) Girls' race. Mark Rogers was running in the colours of the host school in the Intermediate (Under 17) Boys' race, in which he was 9th across the finish line. Niamh Fussey was in action in the Senior (Under 19) Girls' race, where she helped her Scoil Uí Mhuirí team to the silver medals in the team contest.

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18 October 2011

Next Sunday this year's Louth Cross Country Championship programme continues with the staging of the Juvenile uneven age group races in Monasterboice. This venue - beside the iconic round tower has not been used for cross country competition in recent years, so the young athletes can look forward to contesting the county titles on virgin territory.

St Peter's AC expects to have a small number of athletes in action. Gabriel Bell will be hopeful of having a good run in the Under 11 Boys' race over a 1500m course. He finished 10th in Under 12 championship in Drogheda the Sunday before last, so will be looking forward to testing himself in the younger age group. Judith Bell, Gabriel's younger sister, is showing great potential for the future and she may also run in Monasterboice.

Due to an unfortunate clash with a football fixture, Daniel Mullen missed the chance to contest the Under 12 championship in Drogheda. However he has entered next Sunday's Under 13 Boys' race, which will give him a chance to gauge his promising current form over a testing 2500m course.

Mark Rogers and Éamonn McManus both ran very well for the Dromiskin-based club in the recent Under 16 Boys' championship in Drogheda over a 4000m course, finishing 2nd and 8th respectively. On Sunday they both move up an age group - and an extra 1000m in distance to challenge the older athletes in the Under 17 Boys' championship.

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11 October 2011

Last Sunday witnessed the first day's action of the 2011 Louth Cross Country Championships. The Meadowview Sports Ground on the south side of Drogheda, which, unlike some cross country courses, is devoid of hills, was the venue for the Novice and Juvenile even age group races. Weather conditions were mixed it was warm but windy, while the threatening rain clouds managed to hold their fire for the duration of the event.

St Peter's AC sent a small team of six athletes, who were accompanied by family members and club coach Kathleen McConnell. The best performance in the colours of the Dromiskin-based club was saved until one of the last races of the day. This was the Under 16 Boys' 4km event, in which Mark Rogers came home in 2nd place. Éamonn McManus also had a good run in this race and finished well up the field.

Judith Bell made her debut for the club with a fine run in the Under 8 Girls' race. Gabriel Bell, her older brother, also impressed with a good run in the Under 12 Boys' 2km race. In the Under 14 Girls' race Nikayla Hamill was strongly in contention for most of the 3km course. However she eventually suffered from the punishing early pace and unfortunately was unable to sustain her gallant effort through to the finish.

The Novice races were staged prior to the Juvenile programme and they attracted very big fields. Pamela McConnell was the standard-bearer for St Peter's in these races and she continued her comeback to the sport with a good run in the Women's race, which was contested over 3km.

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4 October 2011

Next Sunday sees the first day's action in this year's Louth Cross Country Championships with the staging of the Juvenile even age groups and the Novice races at the Meadowview Sports Ground. Dromiskin-based St Peter's AC, which has enjoyed yet another very successful track and field season in 2011, expects to have around ten athletes in action at the Drogheda venue.

Pamela McConnell will be the first of the club's athletes to compete, as she is due to run in the Novice Women's race over a 3km course. She will be hoping to build on her good run in the Dundalk 10K Road Race last May, in which she finished well up the field in a fine time of 54:32.

Erin McGowan will then contest the U12 Girls' race over 2km. This should prove to be good experience for the youngster, who is still eligible for the U11 age group this year.

Gabriel Bell and Daniel Mullen, both of whom already have some cross country experience under their belts, will go in the U12 Boys' 2km event. Gabriel, who is still an U11 athlete, was 3rd in the U10 race and 7th in the U11 race in last year's championships, while Daniel was 15th in that same U11 race in 2010.

Nikayla Hamill will be hoping to be in contention for the medals in the U14 Girls' race over 3km, as she was 2nd in last year's U13 event. She should be joined in this race by Heather Rogers, who is more experienced in track and field than in cross country competitions.

Dylan Rogers finished 11th in last year's U14 Boys' 3km race, and he will be back in action in the same age group this year. Joining him here will be Tadgh McNally, who has shown some good form in training.

The final St Peter's AC athletes in action will both feature in the U16 Boys' race over 4km. Having been 2nd in the U15 championship in 2010, Mark Rogers should be there or thereabouts as the athletes approach the finish line. Éamonn McManus has also impressed in cross country races in previous years and could well do so again this time out.

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