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Reports - December 2011


27 December » 20 December » 13 December » 6 December »

27 December 2011

As the end of 2011 approaches, it is an opportune time to reflect on another successful year for St Peter’s AC. Using the yardstick of medals won in Irish national championship competition, the Dromiskin-based club surpassed its achievements of 2010. A total of four gold, ten silver and seven bronze medals were won by ten different athletes from the club in 2011, an improvement on the tally of four gold, six silver and five bronze won by eight athletes in 2010.

The breakdown of this year’s medals by event underlines the club’s deserved reputation as a powerhouse in the field events. Seven medals came in the High Jump, five each in the Shot Putt and Javelin, three in the Long Jump, with just one in a track event.

Emily Rogers led the way, winning one gold (Schools’ outdoors), two silver (Juvenile indoors and outdoors) and two bronze (Senior indoors and Junior outdoors) in the High Jump. Maria Duffy won gold in the Long Jump and silver in the Javelin (both Masters’ outdoors). Olivia McDonald won Javelin gold (Under 23 outdoors) and bronze (Senior outdoors), while Hilary Kerr won Long Jump gold (Universities’ outdoors) and bronze (Universities’ indoors).

Mark Rogers won three silvers – the club's only track medal in the 800m (Juvenile indoors) and two in the High Jump (Juvenile indoors and Schools’ outdoors). In addition, Mark had the honour of competing twice for Ireland, finishing 2nd in the High Jump at the Celtic Schools' Indoor International in Cardiff, and 12th in the Pentathlon at the Anglo-Celtic Schools' Indoor International in Glasgow.

Frances Rogers picked up two silvers (Universities’ indoors and out) and a bronze (Under 23 outdoors) - all in the Shot Putt. Javelin thrower Lauren Finegan (Juvenile outdoors) and shot putter Tom McGrane (Masters’ indoors) also won national silver medals. The national medal count for the year is completed by the bronze medals earned by Brianán Conway in the Javelin (Juvenile outdoors) and Martin McGrane in the Shot Putt (Juvenile indoors).

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20 December 2011

Last Wednesday night the indoor track and field season got underway with an Open Meet organised by Athletics Northern Ireland being staged at the University of Ulster, Jordanstown. Dromiskin-based St Peter's AC was represented by one athlete, Tom McGrane, a former sprinter who has turned to shot putting in recent years.

Tom was delighted to finish 3rd in the Senior Men's Shot Putt with a personal best performance. He started the competition with a reasonably good throw of 8.91m. Two mediocre throws followed before he improved to 9.18m in the fourth round, which beat his previous indoor personal best.

He slipped back a little in the fifth round, but saved the best until last, propelling the 16-pound ball out to 9.44m in the sixth and final round. This added 7cm to his previous lifetime best, which he had recorded at the Tír Chonaill AC Open Meet in Donegal last April.

The winner on the night was Matthew Doyle of Mid-Ulster AC, who had a massive personal best of 15.69m, one of the best performances in Ireland in 2011. Tom Reynolds of North Down AC, who finished 9th in the Commonwealth Games Decathlon in 2010, threw 12.85m to fill the runner-up spot. 4th place went to Neil McAllister of Newcastle AC, who registered 7.68m.

Meanwhile the younger athletes in St Peter's AC are taking a break from training until Tuesday 10th January, but the older athletes will continue to train through the holiday period, apart from the night of Tuesday 27th December.

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13 December 2011

Last Thursday night St Peter's AC held its Annual Awards ceremony in the St Joseph's GFC Community Centre in Dromiskin. This was once again a very enjoyable evening, as the club took a break from the rigours of training and the pressures of competition to honour some of its most deserving members. The awards were announced by Angela McDonald and presented by Brendan Rogers.

The first awards of the night were the Athletes' Choice awards. The award for the younger athletes went to Ava Brennan, winner of the Under 11 75m at the Southport Waterloo AC Open Meet in Liverpool, and that for the older athletes went to Mark Rogers, silver medallist in the Under 16 High Jump at the Celtic Schools' Indoor International in Cardiff.

Judith Bell, winner of the Under 7 race at the Dunleer AC Cross Country Meet, was then presented with a special award. The Most Improved Athlete of the Year award went to Martin McGrane, Under 14 Shot Putt bronze medallist at the Irish Indoor Championships.

St Peter's AC presents five perpetual trophies at its awards ceremony each year. This year the Richardson Trophy went to Daniel Mullen, winner of the Under 12 Shot Putt at the Louth Championships. Orlaith McMahon, the Under 14 200m gold medallist at the Louth Championships, was then presented with the Maria Mackin Trophy, with the Angela McDonald trophy being awarded to Liam Fussey, winner of the Under 14 Javelin at the Leinster Schools' Championships.

Mark Rogers then made his second trip of the night up to the stage to receive the Jumps Trophy, while Lauren Finegan was the recipient of the Throws Trophy, due recognition for her silver medal performance in the Under 15 Javelin at the Irish Championships.

The penultimate awards to be presented were the Clubperson of the Year awards. The female award went to Emily Rogers, Under 17 High Jump gold medallist at the Irish Schools' Championships, with the male award going to Tom McGrane, Over 45 Shot Putt silver medallist at the Irish Indoor Championships.

St Peter's AC always honours any of its athletes who won Irish championship titles during the year while representing the club. Olivia McDonald received a trophy to mark her victory in the Under 23 Javelin at the Irish Championships, thus bringing this celebration of the many fine achievements by the club' athletes during 2011 to a fitting conclusion.

The presentation of awards was preceded by the club's Christmas Draw. Prizes included hampers and complementary memberships of The Gym, Avenue Road, Dundalk.

The top six prizes went to Emily Rogers, Pat Mulligan, Mary Mhic Shuibhne (née McGrane), the Bell Family, the McManus family and the Mullen Family. The gym memberships were won by Niamh Fussey and Orlaith McMahon, with Underage prizes going to James McCarron and Katie Murphy. Finally the Sellers' prizes went to Liam Fussey and Nikayla Hamill.

The club wishes to sincerely thank all those who donated prizes and who bought tickets for the draw.

On Sunday the members of St Peter's AC were deeply saddened to learn of the death of Lily Brennan, mother of the club's Child Welfare Officer, Angela McGinn, and grandmother of athletes Ava Brennan, Tadhg Brennan and Pádraic McGinn. The sincere sympathy of all at the club is extended to Angela, Ava, Tadhg, Pádraic and to the entire Brennan family circle.

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6 December 2011

Last Sunday week Emily Rogers of St Peter's AC travelled to Santry in Dublin to train with the Irish National Senior Jumps Squad. This was an excellent opportunity for the Togher athlete to receive some additional coaching and to train alongside the best athletes in the country.

In the morning all the high jumpers worked on their jumping technique under the watchful eye of Sharon Gallen, who, as Sharon Foley, set the still-standing Irish record in the Heptathlon and who has a lifetime High Jump best of 1.88m, one of the best ever marks by an Irishwoman.

In the afternoon the athletes had a tough jumps specific conditioning session. Speaking at the end of the day, Michael McDonald, the National Jumps Coach, declared: "This was a really good day and we asked a lot of the athletes attending. They all stepped up to the mark and gave an excellent account of themselves."

Emily will undoubtedly have benefited from these sessions, which perfectly complemented her regular training routine. Still just 17 years old, she has already established herself as a competitor to be reckoned with in the senior ranks. In 2011 she won bronze in the Irish Indoor Championships and finished 5th in the outdoor equivalent, and she will be aiming to surpass these fine achievements in 2012.

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