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Reports - March 2012

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27 March 2012

Last Saturday and Sunday saw the staging of the first weekend of the 2012 Irish Juvenile Indoor Championships in Nenagh. It proved to be a great weekend for St Peter's AC, as four athletes represented the Dromiskin-based club in five events. They were rewarded with a series of excellent performances and two national silver medals.

Chloe Finley was the star of the show on Saturday, as she added 19cm to her personal best in the Under 15 Shot Putt. Her throw of 11.00m earned her the silver medal, which was particularly pleasing as she had only been ranked in 4th place coming into the competition. Chloe's slight build is somewhat unusual for a top class shot putter, but her strength lies in the tremendous speed which she generates across the 7-foot circle before launching the 2.72kg implement on its way.

Niamh Fussey was also in action on Saturday, and she too set a new personal best in the heats of the Under 18 60m heats. Her 8.51 clocking earned her a place in the final, in which she finished 8th with a marginally slower time of 8.56.

However all this was just a prelude for a tremendous performance from Niamh the following day. She settled into her blocks for the 60m Hurdles final ranked in 5th place among the competitors. But, right from the gun, she produced the race of her life to take almost half a second off her previous personal best, and claim the silver medal with a 9.48 clocking.

Niamh has been a member of St Peter's AC since she was seven years old, and ten years of dedication to her club and the sport has been richly and deservedly rewarded with her first national championship medal. She is undoubtedly a inspiration to all those younger athletes who are tempted to drop out of the sport well before they reach the Under 18 age group.

Young Gabriel Bell was competing as an individual for the first time in a national championships on Saturday, and he acquitted himself remarkably well. He leapt 1.25m for joint 4th place in the Under 12 High Jump. His personal best is just 1cm higher than that, but, somewhat unfortunately for him, the bar was raised straight to 1.30m after his fine clearance at 1.25m.

A great weekend was rounded of by another good performance from Mark Rogers on Sunday. He clocked 9.49, just five hundredths short of his personal best, for 5th place in the Under 17 60m Hurdles.

Mark will back in Nenagh this coming weekend, when he will be in action in the 800m, High Jump and 4x200m relay. Joining him in the Co Tipperary arena will be his clubmates Conor Durnin, Daniel Finley (Chloe's brother), Liam Fussey (Niamh's brother), Éamonn McManus, and his own sister, Emily Rogers.

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20 March 2012

Over the next two weekends nine athletes from St Peter’s AC are due to compete in the Irish Juvenile Indoor Championships in Nenagh. They have all qualified by finishing in the top three in their events at the recent Leinster Championships, at which the club was the top ranked club in Counties Louth and Meath on the final medal table.

A perusal of the results from the other provincial championships, however, indicates that national medals will be much harder to come by for the Dromiskin-based club. Just one St Peter’s athlete is ranked in the top three nationally in his or her event, although a number of the other qualifiers are ranked in 4th or 5th place, which gives them an outside chance of a podium finish in Nenagh.

This coming Saturday Leinster champion Gabriel Bell will compete in the U12 High Jump, silver medallist Chloe Finley will contest the U15 Shot Putt, and bronze medallist Niamh Fussey will be in action in the U18 60m. Gabriel and Chloe are both ranked 4th on paper, so hopefully will come close to the medals, while Niamh is ranked 8th.

On Sunday Niamh Fussey will be back on the track for the U18 60m Hurdles, in which she also took Leinster bronze, while Leinster champion Mark Rogers will go in the U17 60m Hurdles. Both are ranked in 5th place nationally, so will be hopeful of at least making the final in Nenagh.

Saturday week sees four St Peter’s athletes compete in five events. Leinster champion Emily Rogers is ranked 2nd nationally in the U19 High Jump, and hence represents the club’s best chance of a national medal. Three more Leinster champions will be in action at U17 level. Daniel Finley is ranked 4th in the Shot Putt, Mark Rogers is ranked joint 4th in the High Jump, and Conor Durnin is ranked 7th in the Long Jump. Mark will also contest the 800m, in which he is 10th on the national list following his Leinster silver medal performance.

The national championships conclude on Sunday week, when the U17 4x200m relay squad of Conor Durnin, Daniel Finley, Éamonn McManus, Mark Rogers and Liam Fussey will be in action. Their Leinster silver medal performance ranks them in 10th place among the qualifiers.

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13 March 2012

Over twenty athletes from St Peter's AC were in action at the Boyne AC Indoor Track Meet at Gormanston College last Sunday. They produced a series of excellent performances and made the short homeward journey with an impressive medal haul of five gold, six silver and four bronze medals.

Éamonn McManus was a double gold medallist in the U17 events, as he was first across the line in both the 60m and 600m. Chloe Finley moved up an age group to win the U16 60m, while Niamh Fussey was victorious in the U18 60m. Towards the end of the afternoon the U10 team of Amber Curran, Dearbhla Tinnelly, Alanna Tinnelly and Hazel Murphy showed great promise for the future with a tremendous win in the relay.

Hazel and Chloe also won silver medals in the U8 60m and the U15 600m respectively, while Chloe later teamed up with Nikayla Hamill, Heather Rogers and Ciara Murphy for another silver in the U15 relay. Nikayla had earlier moved up an age group to take an individual silver behind Chloe in the U16 60m. The club's two other silver medals came in the 60m, courtesy of Dean McDermott in the U12 race and Liam Fussey at U16 level.

Liam also took bronze in the U16 600m, as did relay gold medallist Dearbhla, when she moved up an age group to finish 3rd in the U11 600m. Two further bronze medals were won by the St Peter's relay teams. In the U11 race Shannon Doherty and Katie Morris teamed up with Amber and Alanna from the victorious U10 team, and then the quartet of Claire McKenna, Katie Murphy, Ava Brennan and Marie Claire Rogers finished in 3rd place in the U13 event.

Also competing in Gormanston, and performing very well, were Caoimhe Boyle, Sarah Larney, Emma McDermott and Emma Watters. It was without doubt an extremely satisfying day's competition for the Dromiskin-based club, which augurs very well for the remainder of 2012.

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6 March 2012

Some athletes from St Peter's AC are looking forward to competing in the remaining meets of the indoor track and field season, while others will not be in action again until the outdoor season gets underway next month.

The indoor season continues next Sunday afternoon when Boyne AC stages an Indoor Meet in Gormanston College. There will be sprints and longer races for athletes in the Under 8 to Under 18 age groups, as well as relays for the Under 9 to Under 17 age groups. Then on 24th and 25th March, and again on 31st March and 1st April, the Dromiskin-based club will have one of its best ever representations at the Irish Juvenile Indoor Championships in Nenagh.

Several athletes from the club will travel to Portugal on Easter Monday for a five-day training camp in Vila Real de Santo António. When they return they will be less than one week away from the Louth Juvenile Pre-championship Meet at the Bush track. This is scheduled for 20th April, while two days later the Cushinstown AC Sports will provide a good programme of events for all age groups. That same weekend will also see the staging of the Irish Universities' Championships in Athlone.

The focus the following month will be on the Louth Juvenile Championships, which will be contested on the weekend of 12th and 13th May. These are sandwiched between the North Leinster and the Leinster Schools' Championships, which will provide good competition for the club's athletes who are currently in secondary school.

A detailed calendar of competitions from now until the end of the outdoor track and field season next September is available on the club website, This will be updated regularly as further fixtures are announced.

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