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Reports - August 2012

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28 August 2012

Last weekend four athletes from St Peter's AC represented County Louth at the finals of the National Community Games in Athlone. They all performed well and contributed one gold and one silver medal to Louth's magnificent tally of six gold, one silver and two bronze medals, which left the Wee County in second place in the overall athletics medal table, just marginally behind Galway.

Mark Rogers was in great form as he equalled his personal best to win gold in the U16 High Jump. After a few worrying failures at lower heights, he nailed it when it really mattered, and actually soared clear over 1.88m on his first attempt.

Lauren Finegan also had a shaky start in the U16 Javelin with a couple of foul throws, but ultimately showed the class which saw her make her international debut just a fortnight previously. A personal best of 30.11m with the 600g implement was good enough to seal the silver medal.

Martin McGrane and Heather Rogers were also in action in the U16 Discus and U14 Shot Putt respectively. Martin's best throw on the day was 20.56m, while Heather's best measured 7.96m.

In the Community Games the athletes represent both their counties and their local areas. Mark, Lauren and Heather are all from the Togher area, while Martin is from the St Joseph's area in Dundalk. Unfortunately St Peter's core catchment area of Dromiskin and Darver is no longer active in Community Games, so several of the club's athletes did not have the opportunity to compete this year.

Tom McGrane of St Peter's AC was also busy in Athlone at the weekend as, along with Barbara Kelly of Boyne AC, he worked as a team manger of the successful Louth team.

The club also had a great day at the Ardee and District AC Sports last Sunday week. Leading the way were sister and brother Chloe Finley and Daniel Finley, who won three gold medals apiece. Chloe triumphed in the U15 100m, U15 800m and U19 Long Jump (4.87m), while Daniel was victorious in the U17 100m, U17 1500m and U19 Long Jump (4.65m).

Katie Murphy won the U12 Shot Putt (8.59m) and took bronze in the U12 100m. Heather Rogers won three medals silver in the U19 Long Jump (4.15m) and bronze in both the U15 100m and U15 800m. Orlaith McMahon struck silver in the U15 100m and bronze in the U19 Long Jump (4.02m). In addition, St Peter's AC had a great win in the U15 Girls' 4x100m relay.

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21 August 2012

Six athletes from St Peter's AC were in action in two separate competitions in Tullamore last weekend the Irish Masters' Championships on Saturday and the Irish Senior League Final on Sunday. Two more national championship medals came the way of the Dromiskin-based club on Saturday, while the County Louth team finished an excellent fourth in the Women's Division One final on Sunday.

Maria Duffy had a very busy and successful day on Saturday, as she contested no less than five events in the Over 45 age group. She raced to victory in the 80m Hurdles in a time of 16.67, having earlier taken silver in the Javelin with a best distance of 19.25m. She also finished 4th in both the 200m, in which she clocked 33.79, and in the Hammer, in which she threw 11.03m. These fine performances came after a disappointing start to her day, as she was disqualified when she false started in the 100m.

Tom McGrane was also in action in the Over 45 age group in Tullamore on Saturday. He finished 5th in strong fields in both the Shot and Hammer, recording distances of 8.92m and 16.51m respectively.

The two individual winners on the Louth team on Sunday were both members of St Peter's AC. Olivia McDonald showed that she is making good progress back towards her best form with a commanding performance to win the Javelin with a 37.06m throw. The county's other winner was Emily Rogers, who leapt 1.65m for victory in the High Jump, a full 10cm clear of the best of her opposition.

Niamh Fussey was very close to her personal best times in both the 100m Hurdles and 400m Hurdles. She took 3rd in the shorter race in a time of 16.17, and crossed the line in 4th place in the one-lap event, stopping the clock at 1:11.80. Frances Rogers was competing in her first track and field event for over a year, and contributed valuable points with her performances in the Shot and Discus. In the former she threw 9.10m for 4th place, while in the latter she recorded 21.72 for 7th place. Niamh Fussey and Emily Rogers were also part of the Louth 4x100m relay team.

Last Thursday night Tom McGrane had warmed up for the Irish Masters' Championships by competing in the Lagan Valley AC Open Meet in Antrim. He actually performed a little better there, as he won both his events in the Senior Men's category. At the start of the evening he recorded a season's best of 17.24m in the Hammer, while later on, as the rain pelted down, he threw 8.96m in the Shot.

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14 August 2012

Last Saturday was a historic day for St Peter's AC, as two of the club's athletes made their international debuts for Ireland. As the Olympic Games were drawing to a close in London, the Celtic Games were staged over 500 miles further north in Aberdeen. This is an annual match between the national Under 16 and Under 18 teams from Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

Conor Durnin pulled on the green of Ireland for the first time, and he certainly did himself, his club and his country proud. Competing in the Under 18 Triple Jump, he jumped 42cm further than ever before to win the event with a tremendous leap of 13.76m. This left him a full 50cm clear of Scotland's Mahad Ahmed, with Adrian Lawrence of Wales recording 12.45m for 3rd place in the match.

Two factors make Conor's great victory even more special. Firstly, it is the first time a member of the Dromiskin-based club has won his or her individual event while representing Ireland in an international competition and, secondly, Conor will also be young enough to compete in the Under 18 age group in next year's Celtic Games, which are likely to be staged in Wales.

Lauren Finegan also made her international debut on Saturday and, like Conor, produced a performance of which she can be extremely proud. Competing in the Under 16 Javelin, and throwing the 600g implement, she added almost 2 metres to her previous personal best to take 2nd place in the match. Lauren's best throw on the day was measured at 29.36m. Victory went to Thora Cant of Scotland with a throw of 34.52m, while Shauna Quirke of Wales, who has a personal best of 31.37m, finished behind Lauren with 24.71m.

Conor and Lauren had the additional satisfaction of being part of a winning Irish team. As well as winning then overall match against their two Celtic rivals, Ireland also won the Under 18 Boys' category, the Under 16 Girls' category, the combined Under 16 and 18 Boys' category, and the combined Under 16 and 18 Girls' category.

Contributing in no small way to the success of the Irish team were St Peter's AC coaches Kathleen McConnell and Angela McDonald, both of whom accompanied the young athletes to Scotland as part of the team management. Kathleen has been an Irish team manager at the Celtic Games for a number of years now, but Angela was honoured to be selected for the first time this year.

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7 August 2012

The weekend before last saw the staging of the remaining individual events and all the relays in the 2012 Irish Juvenile Championships. Six athletes from St Peter's AC were in action and three of them made the journey home from Tullamore with national silver medals.

Emily Rogers, now in her final year in the juvenile ranks, leapt 1.63m for 2nd place in the U19 High Jump on Saturday. The same day Daniel Finley finished 5th in both the U17 Shot and Javelin, registering 38.39m in the latter, while Chloe Finley, Daniel's sister, clocked 28.36 in the heats of the U15 200m.

On Sunday afternoon Chloe teamed up with Orlaith McMahon, her St Peter's AC clubmate, Gina Moses of St Gerard's AC and Niamh Kelly of Boyne AC. This talented quartet formed the Louth U15 team for the inter-county 4x100m relay, and they recorded an excellent time of 52.92 to claim silver behind Tipperary.

St Peter's AC provided three of the four boys for the Louth U17 team, which finished 5th in a time of 50.20, as Conor Durnin, Daniel Finley and Eamonn McManus teamed up with Boyne AC's Keith Dunne.

Last weekend three athletes from the Dromiskin-based club were in action in the Irish Combined Events' Championships at Santry in Dublin, while a further twelve contested the Irish Juvenile Development Championships (formerly known as the "B" Championships) at the same venue.

Chloe Finley added another national silver medal to her collection with a superb series of performances in the U15 Pentathlon. She registered 13.98 in the 80m Hurdles, 1.38m in the High Jump, 4.67m in the Long Jump, 11.37m in the Shot and 2:40 in the 800m. Mark Rogers finished 4th in the U18 Octathlon with a total of 4494 points, while Daniel Finley amassed 3747 points for 8th place in the same event. Both Mark and Daniel will still be eligible for this age group in 2013.

The Development Championships, which were open to athletes who had missed out on qualifying for the top-tier national championships, yielded a tremendous medal haul of 4 gold, 3 silver and 4 bronze medals for St Peter's AC.

Gabriel Bell had a great double victory at U12 level, recording 1.26m in the High Jump and 4.09m in the Long Jump. Katie Murphy dominated the U12 Shot to win with a 7.83m throw, and straight afterwards clocked 9.55 to finish 8th in the 60m final. Martin McGrane also took gold in the Shot, as he threw 10.78m to win the U15 title by a big margin.

Elizabeth Bell, Gabriel's sister, threw 6.21m for silver in the U16 Shot and leapt 3.92m for bronze in the Long Jump. Marie Claire Rogers scaled 1.24m to claim silver in the U13 High Jump, and went on to record 3.19m in the Long Jump. Nikayla Hamill produced the club's best performance on the track with a 2:39.42 run for silver in the U15 800m.

Orlaith McMahon won double bronze in the U15 age group, clocking 14.30 in the 100m and leaping 4.02m in the Long Jump. Claire McKenna cleared 1.18m for bronze in the U13 High Jump, and also registered 3.52m in the Long Jump.

Pádraic McGinn just missed out on a medal in the U16 Shot, as he threw 7.67m for 4th place. Ava Brennan stopped the clock at 9.23 in finishing 6th in the U12 60m final, and later leapt 3.54m for 8th place in the Long Jump. Ciara Murphy finished 7th in the U14 Long Jump with 3.24m, just ahead of Sarah Larney, who finished 8th with 3.18m. In the heats of the 100m Ciara came home 4th in a time of 15.77, while Sarah clocked 17.07 in 5th place.

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