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Reports - April 2012

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24 April 2012

The outdoor track and field season got underway with a bang last week for St Peter's AC. Athletes from the club were in action in no less than six competitions at five different venues in Leinster. Despite a lot of cool and wet weather, they produced some excellent performances, which augur well for the bigger meets scheduled for later in the summer.

The truncated Louth Juvenile Pre-Championship Meet at Bush on Friday night yielded 4 gold, 8 silver and 4 bronze medals for the Dromiskin-based club. Given that the meeting was abandoned about halfway through the programme due to heavy rain, this was certainly an impressive total.

Daniel Finley led the way with gold in both the U17 100m and Shot (10.60m), while Niamh Fussey won the U19 Long Jump (4.16m) and took silver in the 100m. The club's other winner was Chloe Finley in the U15 100m.

Judith Bell won silver in both the U8 60m and Ball Throw (10.35m), while Mark Rogers took silver in the U17 Shot (10.18m) and bronze in the 100m.

Silver medals also went to Conor Durnin in the U17 100m, Martin McGrane in the U16 Shot (9.01m), Orlaith McMahon in the U15 100m and Heather Rogers in the U16 Shot (8.43m). A further three athletes won bronze medals Lauren Finegan in the U16 Shot (7.36m), Liam Fussey in the U16 Shot (8.04m) and Éamonn McManus in the U17 Shot (9.18m).

Hilary Kerr was also in action last Friday, as she represented the Royal College of Surgeons at the Irish Universities' Championships in Athlone. She leapt 5.15m for bronze in the Long Jump, which was a fine performance considering that her training had been restricted recently due to injury.

The popular Cushinstown AC Sports in Co Meath were staged on Sunday afternoon, and attracted athletes from across the east of Ireland, with clubs from Newry down to Kilkenny prominently represented. St Peter's AC athletes were well to the fore, winning 5 gold, 9 silver and 5 bronze trophies.

Conor Durnin had a great day, as he accounted for three of these golds with victories in the Senior 400m, U17 100m and U17 Long Jump (5.84m). Chloe Finley also had a busy and successful day with a win in the U15 800m, and silvers in the U16 Shot (10.10m), U15 100m and U15 Long Jump (4.75m). Gabriel Bell was in top form to record a victory in the U12 High Jump and then take silver in the U13 Long Jump.

Daniel Finley won silver in the U17 100m, as did Martin McGrane in the U16 Shot (9.36m), Tom McGrane in the Senior Shot (9.36m) and Katie Murphy in the U12 Shot (6.63m). Heather Rogers won double bronze in the U16 High Jump (1.30m) and the U16 Shot (7.85m). 3rd place finishes were also recorded by Orlaith McMahon in the U15 100m and by Mark Rogers in the Senior High Jump (1.70m).

Towards the end of the day the club's all-girls relay team of Chloe Finley, Heather Rogers, Orlaith McMahon and Nikayla Hamill took a great silver behind a mixed team in the U15 4x100m. This was just after Ciara Murphy, Katie Murphy, Emma McDermott and Marie-Claire Rogers had teamed up for bronze in the U14 Girls' 4x100m.

Other St Peter's athletes who competed in Cushinstown and performed very well included Judith Bell, Ava Brennan, Liam Fussey, Sarah Larney, Dean McDermott, Hazel McDermott and Éamonn McManus.

The hectic programme of competition for the club's athletes commenced last Wednesday when Lauren Finegan and Heather Rogers represented Our Lady's College, Greenhills, at the Meath Schools' Championships in Navan, where Heather had an impressive win in the Shot and took bronze in the High Jump. The same day Mark Rogers, representing St Joseph's, Drogheda, won gold in the High Jump (1.76m) and bronze in the 800m at the CBS Schools' Championships at Santry in Dublin.

The action was rounded off when Niamh Fussey and Emily Rogers both ran in the Leinster 100m Challenge in Santry on Sunday afternoon. One lucky participant in this event, drawn by lottery, was rewarded with an opportunity to race over 100m in the Olympic Stadium in London.

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17 April 2012

On Easter Monday 14 young athletes from St Peter's AC boarded a flight from Belfast to Faro en route to a training camp in Portugal. While there, the athletes enjoyed five days of hard training in ideal weather conditions, as they sought to hone their preparations for the forthcoming outdoor track and field season.

The athletes who took part in the camp were Conor Durnin, Lauren Finegan, Chloe Finley, Liam Fussey, Niamh Fussey, Nikayla Hamill, Sarah Larney, Martin McGrane, Claire McKenna, Orlaith McMahon, Éamonn McManus, Emily Rogers, Heather Rogers and Mark Rogers. They were accompanied to Portugal by coaches and parents Kathleen McConnell, Angela McDonald, Peter McDonald, Tom McGrane and Catherine Rogers. All those who travelled deserve the utmost credit for their commitment to making the trip a great success.

The day after returning from Portugal, Mark Rogers had an excellent performance in the Junior Great Ireland Run in the Phoenix Park in Dublin. He came home in 5th place out of a huge field in a time of 10:08 in the 2.5km race for 9 to 15 year olds.

A couple of hours later Catherine Rogers, mother of Mark and also just back from Portugal, had a fine run in the Great Ireland Run over a hilly 10km course. She finished in a time of 56:25, which was considerably faster than she had run in this race in 2010 and 2011. Just ahead of Catherine, Kay Morris was also significantly faster than last year, as she finished in 55:11. Splitting this pair was Shenda Rijnders with a solid performance of 56:05.

Earlier last week some of the Dromiskin-based club's younger athletes were in action in the Mountpleasant AC Road Races on Easter Monday. Young Pádraig Tinnelly showed great promise for the future with a 2nd place finish in the "Super Six" Boys' race. Judith Bell also raced to silver in the Under 8 Girls' race, while her older brother Gabriel Bell finished 5th in the Under 12 Boys' race. The other St Peter's AC athletes in action at the Mountpleasant event included Alanna Tinnelly and Dearbhla Tinnelly, while their father Gary Tinnelly finished 32nd in the Senior Men's 5km race in a time of 23:45.

The local outdoor track and field season opens this Friday night with a meet at the Bush track for Co Louth juvenile athletes. This will be followed on Sunday by the Cushinstown AC Open Sports in Co Meath, which, as always, features a good range of events for all age groups.

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10 April 2012

Last Sunday week Frances Rogers of St Peter's AC had a great run in the Freiburg Half Marathon in Germany. This was very much a new experience for her, as she is better her known for her exploits as a shot putter and discus thrower.

Frances, who is currently studying at the renowned University of Freiburg as part of her degree course at Trinity College Dublin, went to the start line hoping for a time somewhere between 2 hours 15 minutes and 2 hours 30 minutes. Needless to say she was delighted to cross the line just over two hours later in a time of 2:00:38. This left her well up in the field in 710th place out of the 1,737 female finishers in the race.

There were six lucky winners of hampers in the St Peter's AC Easter Draw last week. These were the Durnin family, the Tinnelly family, the Muckian family, the Hamill family, Mal Kirwan and Katie Morris. The club would like to extend its sincere thanks to all those who supported the draw by buying and selling tickets.

On Easter Monday 14 young athletes from the Dromiskin-based club boarded a flight from Belfast to Faro for a five-day training camp in Portugal. They are staying in the seaside resort of Monte Gordo, and are training at the excellent facilities in the nearby town of Vila Real de Santo António.

The athletes currently training hard in the Algarve are Conor Durnin, Lauren Finegan, Chloe Finley, Liam Fussey, Niamh Fussey, Nikayla Hamill, Sarah Larney, Martin McGrane, Claire McKenna, Orlaith McMahon, Éamonn McManus, Emily Rogers, Heather Rogers and Mark Rogers. They have been accompanied to Portugal by coaches and parents Kathleen McConnell, Angela McDonald, Peter McDonald, Tom McGrane and Catherine Rogers.

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3 April 2012

Last Saturday and Sunday witnessed the conclusion of the 2012 indoor track and field season in Ireland, with the staging of the second weekend of the National Juvenile Championships in Nenagh. It proved to be a fantastic finale to a great season for St Peter's AC, as the club's team of five athletes added one gold and four bronze medals to the two silvers won the previous weekend.

Emily Rogers, competing indoors as a juvenile for the final time, scaled a lifetime best of 1.70m to claim the Under 19 High Jump title. This added 2cm to her previous best of 1.68m, which she had achieved on a number of occasions this year and last, and places her in joint 2nd place on the Irish Senior ranking list for 2012.

Mark Rogers, her younger brother, was also in great form, as he set two new lifetime bests in the Under 17 events. On Saturday morning he added 4cm to his previous best to take bronze in the High Jump with a 1.85m clearance, a performance which moves him up to joint 7th place on this year's Irish Senior ranking list. Mark followed that up on Saturday afternoon with a 2:06.14 performance for another bronze in the 800m, which was an impressive 1.75 seconds faster than he had ever run before.

Conor Durnin exceeded the pre-competition expectations of many, as he leapt out to 6.29m for bronze in the Under 17 Long Jump. He was tantalisingly close to silver, and even to the coveted gold, as the silver medallist also jumped 6.29m, and the winner was a mere 4cm ahead of that.

Daniel Finley has been making great progress recently, and he was deservedly rewarded with his first ever national medal. This came in the Under 17 Shot Putt, where his best throw of 10.67m ensured him a podium place as the bronze medallist in this event.

On Sunday morning the Under 17 4x200m relay team of Conor Durnin, Daniel Finley, Éamonn McManus and Mark Rogers had a great run in the heats to qualify for the final. A few hours later they just missed out on yet another medal for the Dromiskin-based club, as they had to be content with a 4th place finish.

A remarkable feature of the weekend's action was the extent to which the St Peter's athletes and relay team peaked for the season's climax. They set a multitude of personal bests, and all finished in higher places than their earlier performances when qualifying through the Leinster Championships had suggested they might.

St Peter's AC will be holding its annual Flag Day on Thursday 26th April in Dundalk. Volunteer collectors are needed for the day and all parents and older athletes are asked to commit to three hours on the day sometime between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. Everyone, including those who are not available, should contact Geraldine Fussey on 086 3675155 to indicate if and when they are available. This should be done as soon as possible, as she needs to organise the day. All help will be deeply appreciated.

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