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Reports - February 2012

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28 February 2012

The full impact of the excellent performances by the athletes of St Peter's AC at the Leinster Juvenile Indoor Championships the weekend before last only became clear in recent days when detailed results were published. The club's medal tally of six gold, three silver and three bronze medals was good enough for 8th place on the overall medal table, and was the best among their local northeast rivals in Counties Louth and Meath.

Once again St Peter's proved to be exceptionally strong in the jumps and throws, with five gold, two silver and one bronze medal coming in the High Jump, Long Jump and Shot Putt events. This ranks the club in 2nd place in the region, behind St Abban's AC from Co Laois, in the field events, and as the top club in Leinster in the Boys' field events.

The 2012 medal tally also represented a big improvement on the Dromiskin-based club's showing in these championships in recent years. In 2010 the tally was two gold, one silver and two bronze medals, while last year it was one gold, two silver and one bronze medal.

Nor should it be forgotten that the eight St Peter's athletes who won Leinster medals were part of a team of 22 athletes who competed in the provincial championships. All the athletes on the team should be very proud of the part they played on a very encouraging weekend for the club.

The regular club training sessions, which take place at the St Joseph's GFC facilities in Dromiskin, continue each Tuesday and Thursday evening, starting at 6:30 p.m. These sessions have been very well attended in recent months, a factor which undoubtedly contributed to the excellent performances in the Leinster Championships. Any prospective new members would be made very welcome, and can get more detailed information about the club on

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21 February 2012

The Leinster Juvenile Indoor Championships for the Under 12 to Under 19 age groups were staged last Saturday and Sunday in Nenagh. It proved to be a very successful weekend for St Peter's AC, as the Dromiskin-based club's large team of over 20 athletes won six gold, three silver and three bronze medals.

Mark Rogers was in fine form in the U17 events, winning gold in the High Jump (1.70m) and 60m Hurdles and silver in the 800m (2:17). In the same age group Daniel Finley won gold in the Shot (10.96m), silver in the High Jump (1.60m) and finished 4th in the 60m Hurdles. Conor Durnin made it an incredible clean sweep for St Peter's in the U17 Boys' field events with victory in the Long Jump (5.71m), and he was also 5th overall in the 200m (24.76).

Gabriel Bell showed great promise for the future with victory in the U12 High Jump (1.26m), having earlier just missed out on a medal with 4th place in the Long Jump (3.90m). Emily Rogers added yet another Leinster title to her considerable collection with a win in the U19 High Jump (1.63m).

Chloe Finley impressed when taking silver in the U15 Shot (9.84m), and also finished 7th in the 60m Hurdles. Niamh Fussey was a double bronze medallist in the U18 60m (8.24) and 60m Hurdles, and also performed well in the Long Jump (4.56m). Aaron Finley took bronze in the U19 Shot (7.57m), and followed up with 4th place in the High Jump (1.60m).

A number of other athletes from St Peter's also finished well up the fields in their events. Shot putters Katie Murphy (5.97m) and Martin McGrane (10.18m) finished 4th at U12 and U15 level respectively. Heather Rogers finished 6th in the U15 Shot (7.84m) and Nikayla Hamill was 6th fastest overall in the U15 800m heats.

Ava Brennan was 8th in the U12 Long Jump (3.52m), while Éamonn McManus was 8th best overall in the U17 200m (26.06). In addition Luke Finley was unfortunate to be disqualified in the U16 1500m Walk while lying in 4th place in the race.

Other athletes who represented the club with pride in Nenagh, and who performed well against stiff opposition, included Liam Fussey, Sarah Larney, Emma McDermott, Pádraic McGinn, Claire McKenna, Orlaith McMahon, Ciara Murphy and Marie Claire Rogers.

All those who won medals now qualify to compete in the Irish Juvenile Indoor Championships, which will be staged in Nenagh in late March. Meanwhile all the other athletes can take great heart from their performances and look forward to the outdoor track and field season, which will get underway towards the end of April.

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14 February 2012

Last weekend four athletes from St Peter's AC were in action in indoor championship competitions in Belfast and Glasgow. The Odyssey Arena in Belfast was the venue for both the Irish Senior Championships and the Ulster Juvenile Championships for the Under 14 to Under 17 age groups. Meanwhile, across in Glasgow, the Scottish Masters' Championships were staged in the Kelvin Hall.

Martin McGrane got the weekend off to a great start with a bronze medal in the Under 15 Shot Putt in the Ulster Juvenile Championships on Saturday afternoon. He saved his best throw of 10.18m ? his second best ever with the 3.25kg implement - until the final round, and this proved sufficient to move him up into the medals behind Matthew Dalton and Cameron Kelly, both of whom were representing City of Lisburn AC.

On Saturday night in the Odyssey it was the turn of Emily Rogers to contest the High Jump in the Irish Senior Championships. She had a best clearance of 1.65m, and went very close to clearing what would have been a lifetime best of 1.70m. However she finished just outside the medals in 5th place, in what proved to be a much tougher competition than twelve months previously. In 2011 Emily had cleared 1.60m to take the bronze medal behind Cathriona Farrell of Co Galway club, Craughwell AC, who successfully defended her national title on Saturday night with a 1.70m performance.

Conor Durnin was next into action for the Dromiskin-based club, and he had a very busy couple of hours in the Ulster Juvenile Championships on Sunday morning. His best result came in the Under 17 Long Jump, where he finished in 4th place with a leap of 5.51m. This was a little below his best, but was a good performance given that it came just after he had placed 2nd in his heat of the 200m in a time of 24.95. He rounded off with a 7.70 clocking for 3rd place in his heat of the 60m, which was encouragingly faster than he had run in the Leinster Junior Championships in Nenagh two weeks previously.

On Sunday afternoon in the Kelvin Hall Tom McGrane brought the weekend's action to a winning conclusion, as he was crowned Scottish Masters' champion in the Over 45 Shot Putt. Although somewhat disappointed that he only managed a best throw of 8.19m, he was nevertheless pleased to win his first ever national title after several years of contesting national championships in both Ireland and Scotland.

Tom's indoor season is now at an end, but Martin, Emily and Conor, along with several other St Peter's AC athletes will be back in action next weekend, when the Leinster Juvenile Championships for the Under 12 to Under 19 age groups will be staged in Nenagh.

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7 February 2012

Last Saturday Hilary Kerr of Dromiskin-based St Peter's AC competed in the Irish Universities' Indoor Championships in Nenagh. Representing the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, she was in action in the 60m and Long Jump.

Hilary replicated her performance in these championships in 2011 by taking bronze in the Long Jump. She was somewhat disappointed that her best jump of 5.10m was a little below her best. Later in the day she tackled the heats of the 60m, in which she just missed out on a place in the final.

Next weekend the focus of the indoor track and field season temporarily shifts from Nenagh to Belfast, as the Irish Senior Indoor Championships and the Ulster Juvenile Indoor Championships for the Under 14 to Under 17 age groups will be staged in the Odyssey Arena.

In the former competition, Hilary Kerr is expected to be in action once more in the Long Jump, while Emily Rogers is planning to contest the High Jump. Both these events are scheduled for Saturday evening. The club's entrants for the underage events, which are also open to athletes from outside Ulster, include Conor Durnin the Under 17 60m, 200m and Long Jump, all on Sunday morning, and Martin McGrane in the Under 15 Shot Putt on Saturday afternoon.

Meanwhile Tom McGrane is hoping to make the trip to Glasgow to contest the Over 45 Shot Putt in the Scottish Masters' Indoor Championships in the Kelvin Hall on Sunday.

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