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Reports - January 2012

31 January » 24 January » 17 January » 10 January » 3 January »

31 January 2012

Last Saturday and Sunday a total of 17 athletes from St Peter's AC were in action in Irish and Leinster championship competition in Nenagh, and it proved to be a very successful weekend for the Dromiskin-based club. The homeward journey along the M7, M50 and M1 was made all the sweeter by the impressive haul of one national and seven provincial medals.

On Saturday the Irish Juvenile Combined Events' Indoor Championships were staged in the Co Tipperary arena. Mark Rogers claimed silver in the U-17 Boys' Pentathlon with a total of 3012 points. Just behind him in 4th place was Daniel Finley, who scored 2519 points. Chloe Finley, Daniel's sister, also recorded a 4th place finish. Her total of 2489 points in the U-15 Girls' Pentathlon was an agonising six points behind the bronze medallist.

All three pentathletes were in Nenagh again on Sunday for the first day of this year's Leinster Indoor Championships. They were joined by 14 of their clubmates for a long and busy day of competition. The events down for decision included all the Junior (U-20), Senior and Masters' (O-35) events, along with the Juvenile relays for the U-12 to U-19 age groups.

Emily Rogers got the day off to a great start by equalling her lifetime best of 1.68m to take the Junior High Jump title. This excellent performance was later backed up by a further three silver and three bronze medals for the club.

The U-17 4x200m team of Conor Durnin, Daniel Finley and Éamonn McManus and Mark Rogers, along with substitute Liam Fussey, recorded 1:44.1 to claim a silver medal and qualification for the Irish Juvenile Relay Championships. The same quartet then moved up three age groups to take bronze in the Junior 4x200m.

Hilary Kerr had her first outing of 2012 in the Senior Long Jump, in which she leapt 5.24m for 2nd place. Also winning silver was Tom McGrane in the O-45 Shot Putt, where his best throw was measured at 8.53m.

Niamh Fussey impressed to take a bronze medal in the Junior 60m Hurdles with a time of 10.48, especially as it was her first time racing across the higher 2' 9" barriers. Mark Rogers won his fourth medal of the weekend with a leap of 1.70m for bronze in the Junior High Jump, and he also clocked 2:14.51 in the Junior 800m.

Daniel Finley finished just one place and 5cm below Mark in the Junior High Jump. Conor Durnin was another 4th-place finisher in the Junior Long Jump, in which his best leap measured 5.79m, and he stopped the clock at 7.79 seconds when finishing 6th in his heat of the Junior 60m. Éamonn McManus also had a busy day, as he was in action in the Junior 60m and 200m heats, in which he registered times of 8.33 and 26.65 respectively, as well as in the relays.

The club's younger girls were also out in force in Nenagh on Sunday. The U-14 4x200m team of Marie-Claire Rogers, Sarah Larney, Ciara Murphy and Emma McDermott showed good promise for the future when recording 2:19.41 to finish 3rd in their heat. The U-15 4x200m team of Chloe Finley, Nikayla Hamill, Orlaith McMahon and Heather Rogers finished 4th in a tough heat in a time of 2:02.6, which was the 8th best performance overall.

The members and supporters of St Peter's AC can now look forward with confidence to more successes during the remainder of the indoor season, which several competitions still scheduled over the next two months.

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24 January 2012

Last Sunday was a busy day for the athletes of St Peter's AC, with no fewer than seventeen of the club's athletes in competitive action. There was a host of fine performances, including the Dromiskin-based club's first national championship medal of 2012.

The journey down to Nenagh proved a fruitful one for Emily Rogers, as she won silver in the High Jump at the Irish Junior (U20) Indoor Championships. She leapt 1.60m to share 2nd place with Sorcha Murphy of Ferrybank AC in Waterford, just 5cm below the winner, Aisling Croke of Dooneen AC in Limerick.

Mark Rogers accompanied his older sister to Nenagh, where he finished 4th in his heat of the 800m. This competition proved to be a testing experience for Mark, who is still only in the U17 age group.

There was an excellent turnout of the club's younger athletes at the Cushinstown AC Invitation Meet, where they were up against athletes from all the Co Meath clubs plus invited clubs from Co Louth. They made the short homeward journey on Sunday afternoon with an excellent haul of two gold, three silver and six bronze medals. The 30m, High Jump and Long Jump events were staged indoors, while the 60m and Shot Putt took place outdoors.

Chloe Finley impressed with a win in the U16 60m, and silver in both the U16 High Jump (1.38m) and U16 Shot (9.70m). She also competed in the U15 Long Jump (3.99m). The club's other gold medallist was young Hazel McDermott, who won the U8 30m.

Gabriel Bell claimed silver in the U12 High Jump (1.17m) and bronze in the U13 Long Jump (3.77m), and was also action in the U12 30m. Martin McGrane was the only other boy from St Peter's to finish in the medals, as he took bronze in the U16 Shot (9.09m).

Four girls won bronze medals in the sprints. Marie Claire Rogers struck first in the U13 30m, having earlier just missed out on a medal in the U13 Long Jump (3.03m). Ciara Murphy then sped down the track for 3rd place in the U14 60m.

Shortly afterwards Orlaith McMahon and Nikayla Hamill dead-heated for bronze in the U16 60m. Both Orlaith and Nikayla went on to compete in the U15 Long Jump, where they leapt 3.75m and 3.59m respectively.

Good performances were also in evidence from the the other St Peter's AC athletes in Cushinstown. These included Sarah Larney in the U14 60m and U15 Long Jump (2.82m), Dean McDermott in the U11 30m and U11 Long Jump (2.69m), Emma McDermott in the U13 30m and U13 Long Jump (2.75m), Pádraic McGinn in the U16 Shot (7.37m), Claire McKenna in the U13 30m, U14 60m, U14 High Jump (1.10m) and U13 Long Jump (2.70m), Katie Murphy in the U12 30m and Heather Rogers in the U16 60m, U15 Long Jump (3.66m) and U16 Shot (6.85m).

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17 January 2012

Two athletes from St Peter's AC made the trip to the University of Ulster Jordanstown last Saturday afternoon for a well-supported Indoor Open Meet organised by Athletics Northern Ireland. These were the first athletes from the Dromiskin-based club to see competitive action in 2012.

Emily Rogers won the Women's High Jump with a clearance of 1.63m. She went on to attempt 1.66m, 2cm short of her personal best, but narrowly failed at this height. Nevertheless she was pleased with the way she jumped on the day and with her victory in the competition.

Tom McGrane won the Over 45 age group in the Men's Shot Putt, and was in 2nd place overall among the men throwing the 7.26kg Shot. However he was disappointed that his best throw on the day of 8.37m was some way off his personal best of 9.44m, which he had set at the same venue just a month previously.

All club members are reminded that registration fees for 2012 are now due. Athletes must be registered to take part in competitions and to be covered by insurance while participating in club training sessions. Those who have not yet paid should do so as soon as possible.

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10 January 2012

Last Saturday night the Athletics Leinster Star Awards were presented at a function in the Seven Oaks Hotel in Carlow. The recipient of the award for the best juvenile male athlete in County Louth was Mark Rogers of St Peter?s AC.

These awards are based on performances in Leinster championship competition during the past year. Competing at Under 16 level, Mark won silver in the High Jump and bronze in the 800m at the provincial indoor championships last February in Nenagh. In June he did even better at the outdoor championships in Tullamore, taking silver in the High Jump and bronze in both the 250m Hurdles and Shot Putt. He finished off his provincial campaign in style by striking gold in the Pentathlon at the Combined Events' championships in Tullamore in July.

Mark was accompanied to the Carlow ceremony by his parents Brendan Rogers and Catherine Rogers, his sister Emily Rogers, his girlfriend Aoibheann O'Farrell, his club coaches Kathleen McConnell, Angela McDonald and Peter McDonald, and Athletics Louth chairperson, Mary Agnew of St Peter's AC.

This was Mark's first time to win this award, and the first time in four years that it has been won by a male athlete from St Peter's AC. High jumper Kevin McManus was the recipient following his great season in 2007. Prior to that javelin thrower Peter McDonald was a three-time winner for his efforts in 2002, 2004 and 2005.

High jumper Emily Rogers, Mark's sister, won the female award just last year. Long jumper and sprinter Hilary Kerr had the remarkable honour of winning the girls' award for four consecutive years from 2006 to 2009 inclusive. Previously Olivia McDonald, now a multiple Irish Senior Javelin medallist, was honoured for the 2005 season and Shauna Martin, a fine all-rounder, took the laurels for 2004. Another St Peter?s AC athlete was the inaugural recipient of this accolade, when middle distance runner Aoife McCarthy (now Coleman) was judged Louth?s outstanding juvenile female athlete at the end of the 2000 season.

In the 12 years since the unifying of the sport in Louth and Leinster with the formation of the Athletic Association of Ireland at the end of 1999, St Peter?s AC athletes have hence won 13 of the 24 Athletics Leinster Star Awards for the best juvenile athletes in the county. Given the fine crop of young athletes currently in St Peter?s, it will be no surprise if the Dromiskin club continues to feature strongly when these awards are presented in the years to come.

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3 January 2012

On St Stephen's Day brothers Daniel Mullen and Michael Mullen, both members of Dromiskin-based St Peter?s AC, ran in the North East Runners? 5km handicap race in Dundalk. Almost eighty runners took part, with everyone running the full 5km course, but with reputedly slower runners starting before those perceived to be faster than them.

Both youngsters started off scratch, and eleven-year-old Daniel had a particularly impressive run. He completed the course in a personal best time of 27:30, and was the 4th runner to cross the finish line. Thirteen-year-old Michael also had a good run and finished well up the field, as he crossed the line in 20th place in a time of 29:18.

This was the first time in three years that this popular race had been staged. In 2009 and 2010 the organisers were forced to abandon the event due to the icy underfoot conditions. Thankfully it was several degrees too warm for ice this year, although the blustery conditions on the day were hardly conducive to fast times.

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