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Reports - April 2013

30 April » 23 April » 16 April » 9 April » 2 April »

30 April 2013

The North Leinster Schools' Championships were staged on Wednesday and Friday last week at the Morton Stadium in Santry, Dublin, and athletes from St Peter's AC were well to the fore. Representing their secondary schools, they won a most impressive total of nine gold, one silver and four bronze medals.

Three of the Dromiskin-based club’s athletes had winning doubles. Chloe Finley (Bush Post Primary) impressed to win both the 200m and Long Jump at Under 16 level, the latter with a massive personal best of 5.50m. The other two golden doubles came in the Senior Boys’ category. Mark Rogers (St Joseph’s, Drogheda) equalled his personal best of 1.90m to win the High Jump and also triumphed in the 400m Hurdles. Conor Durnin (Marist, Dundalk) was crowned champion in the Long and Triple Jumps with very solid performances of 6.22m and 13.62m respectively.

The three other regional titles went to Lauren Finegan (Greenhills, Drogheda) in the Intermediate (Under 17) Javelin with a throw of around 26 metres, Niamh Fussey (Scoil Uí Mhuirí, Dunleer) in the Senior 100m Hurdles, and Emily Rogers (Greenhills, Drogheda) in the Senior High Jump with a 1.60m clearance.

Daniel Finley (Bush Post Primary) took silver in the Senior Shot Putt and bronze in the Javelin. Heather Rogers (Greenhills, Drogheda) won a brace of medals at Junior (Under 15) level with bronze in both the High Jump (1.35m) and Shot Putt (7.16m). Liam Fussey (Scoil Uí Mhuirí, Dunleer) acquitted himself very well in his first competitive outing with the 700g Javelin, as he took bronze in the Intermediate category with a throw of 37.46m.

Martin McGrane (Castleknock Community College) was also in action in Santry last week. He finished 9th in the Intermediate Discus in the West Leinster Schools’ Championships, recording a best throw of 21.00m in what was his first competition with the 1.5kg implement.

The club's annual Flag Day took place on Thursday last, and sincere thanks are extended to all who contributed in both Dundalk and Dromiskin. The funds raised will undoubtedly be put to good use, as the club seeks to maintain and enhance training and competition opportunities for its members, while keeping costs at a reasonable level, so that nobody will be placed under undue financial strain in these difficult times. Thanks are also due to those club members and parents who collected on the day, and especially to Geraldine Fussey for her key organisational role.

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23 April 2013

The annual Cushinstown AC Open Sports has always been a popular competition among the members of St Peter’s AC, and last Sunday’s staging of the fixture was no exception. The young athletes rose to the occasion, and a superb medal haul of nine gold, four silver and seven bronze medals was the best recorded by the Dromiskin-based club at the Co Meath venue in recent years.

Chloe Finley enjoyed a welcome return to her best form when she won the U17 Shot Putt with a personal best throw of 11.84m, before going on to lift the gold in the U16 100m.

Two pairs of siblings each contributed handsomely to the St Peter’s medal count. Gabriel Bell won the U13 Long Jump (4.13m), was runner-up in the U14 High Jump (1.35m) and took bronze in the U13 Shot Putt (8.39m). His sister Judith Bell won the U9 80m and finished 3rd in the U10 Long Jump.

Mark Rogers had his usual busy day in the Senior events. He won the 800m, equalled his personal best of 1.90m in claiming silver in the High Jump, and took bronze in the Long Jump (5.67m). His sister Emily Rogers, also competing at Senior level, leapt 1.63m for victory in the High Jump, and went on to claim bronze in the Javelin (16.49m).

There were two more Shot Putt golds for St Peter’s with Katie Murphy winning the U13 event (10.80m) and Frances Rogers being too good for the rest of the field in the Senior contest (9.71m).

Orlaith McMahon took silver behind Chloe in the U16 100m, and was followed across the line by Heather Rogers in 3rd place. Heather had earlier won another bronze with a personal best leap of 1.40m in the U16 High Jump.

Ava Brennan was St Peter’s outstanding athlete in the longer races, as she took a fine bronze in the U14 300m.

Towards the end of the afternoon the U14 Girls’ 4x100m team of Katie Murphy, Ava Brennan, Emma McDermott and Marie-Claire Rogers bagged the silver medals in their relay. A great day for St Peter’s was then rounded off in the best possible style when the U17 Mixed 4x100m quartet of Martin McGrane, Heather Rogers, Orlaith McMahon and Chloe Finley stormed to victory in their race.

Ciara Murphy and Hazel Murphy were also in action in Cushinstown and both performed well.

The previous day Angela McDonald and Peter McDonald attended a Throws Officials training course in Athlone in preparation for officiating at the European Team Championships in Dublin in June.

Earlier last week Mark Rogers took silver in both the Long Jump (5.85m) and Shot Putt (11.50m) at U17 level in the Christian Brothers’ Schools’ Championships at Santry in Dublin, while Marie-Claire Rogers and Ava Brennan finished 3rd and 4th respectively in the Louth Primary Schools’ Cross Country Championships at DkIT.

All at St Peter’s AC extend their very best wishes to Pat McConnell, husband of club coach and treasurer Kathleen McConnell, who is currently recovering from major surgery.

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16 April 2013

The snow still lay atop the Cooley Mountains as the outdoor track and field season got underway last weekend. Despite the inclement weather almost 30 athletes from St Peter’s AC were in action on the track and on the road in four different venues during a very busy three day period.

Although there was no snow in Drogheda on Saturday for the inaugural competition in the newly refurbished Lourdes Stadium, the athletes competing in the Louth Pre-Championship Meet had to contend with cold, wet and windy weather. The St Peter’s team of 25 athletes made the short homeward journey with a very impressive medal haul of 11 gold, 14 silver and 13 bronze medals.

The Dromiskin-based club’s youngest athletes were particularly impressive. Niamh Brady won the U9 80m and 200m and took silver in the Long Jump (2.76m). Judith Bell finished runner-up to Niamh in both track events, but beat her by 1cm in the Long Jump. Dean Murtagh won the U9 80m and claimed silver in the 200m, while Seán Allen won bronze in both the U9 200m and Long Jump (2.64m). U10 athlete Hazel Murphy also performed very well.

Eight athletes represented the club in the U13 to U15 age groups. Gabriel Bell won the U13 Long Jump (4.39m) and added a silver in the 80m. Katie Murphy took silver in the U14 Shot (11.05m) and bronze in the U13 80m. Marie-Claire Rogers was a double bronze medallist in the U14 100m and U15 Long Jump (3.55m), while Ava Brennan claimed bronze in the U13 400m. U14 athletes Emma McDermott, Claire McKenna and Craig Murtagh, along with Ciara Murphy in the U15 age group, also showed good early season form.

St Peter’s U16 and U17 athletes contributed handsomely to the overall medal total. Chloe Finley led the way with gold in the U16 100m and 800m, silver in the Shot (10.11m) and bronze in the U17 Long Jump (4.54m). Liam Fussey also did well, taking silver in the U17 800m and Shot (7.35m) and bronze in the Long Jump (4.23m). Heather Rogers claimed a silver and a bronze, finishing one place behind Chloe in both the 800m and Shot (8.61m).

Martin McGrane won silver in the U16 Shot (10.46m) and also finished 2nd competing as a guest in the U17 Shot (8.90m). Elizabeth Bell took silver in the U17 Shot (6.44m), while Luke Finley won bronze in the U17 Shot (6.66m). Also claiming bronze was Orlaith McMahon in the U16 100m, while U16 athlete Ordhnaith Kirk also performed well.

The club’s cohort of older athletes was also in fine form. Mark Rogers had a golden treble, winning the Senior 400m (54.5) along with the U19 Long Jump (5.98m) and Shot (11.09m). For good measure he added a bronze in the U19 100m. Eamonn McManus won the U19 800m and took bronze in the Shot (8.73m). Daniel Finley won silver when he split Mark and Eamonn in the U19 Shot (8.97m). Tom McGrane also claimed silver in the Senior Shot (9.54m).

Meanwhile club athletes Aaron Finley and Frances Rogers represented DCU and Trinity College respectively in the Irish Universities Championships in Cork last Friday and Saturday. Aaron smashed his personal best in finishing 4th in the Javelin (42.61m) at the CIT track. Frances was busy at the Mardyke track where she finished 4th in the Shot (9.76m), 7th in the 8kg Weight for Distance (5.76m) and 11th in the Discus (18.73m).

Heather Rogers was also in action last Friday where she took silver medals in both the U15 High Jump (1.39m) and Shot (7.86m) in the colours of Our Lady’s College, Greenhills in the Meath Schools’ Championships in Navan.

A hectic weekend concluded on Sunday with Catherine Rogers recording a time of 55:54 in the Great Ireland Run 10K in the Phoenix Park in Dublin, which was a highly commendable performance on a very windy day.

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9 April 2013

The recent opening of the superb indoor arena at Athlone Institute of Technology has given a tremendous boost to indoor athletics in Ireland. Probably the best ever domestic indoor season came to a conclusion at the Midlands venue last Saturday, with the staging of the final day of the Irish Juvenile Championships.

Chloe Finley was in action in the Under 16 Girls’ Shot Putt in the colours of St Peter’s AC, in which she finished in 5th place with a best throw on the day of 10.27m. This was somewhat below her best, but this very talented young athlete will have the opportunity to bounce back quickly, as the outdoor season is now just around the corner.

Six athletes from the Dromiskin-based club were in action around the roads to the north of Dundalk in the Mountpleasant AC Road Races on Easter Monday. Braving a stiff breeze and unseasonably cold conditions, they produced some fine performances.

Emily Rogers, whose main event is the High Jump, was the leading finisher in the Junior Women’s category in the 5K race. Catherine Rogers, Emily’s mother, actually crossed the line ahead of her, and was placed 13th in the Over 40 Women’s category.

The 5K race was preceded by shorter races for the juvenile athletes. Seán Allen and Adam Stewart both recorded excellent 3rd place finishes in the Under 10 Boys’ and Under 12 Boys’ races respectively. The Bell siblings were also in top form, as Gabriel Bell crossed the line in 5th place in the Under 14 Boys’ race, while Judith Bell came home 6th in the Under 10 Girls’ race.

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2 April 2013

The focus in St Peter’s AC has recently switched, temporarily at any rate, from indoor track and field to 5K road races. This is due to the fine performances of four women from the Dromiskin-based club in recent races in Drogheda and Dundalk.

On an unseasonably cold bank holiday the day after St Patrick’s Day Margaret Finley, Catherine Rogers and Emily Rogers lined up with over 400 other runners, including more than 250 women, for the St Vincent de Paul / Drogheda Independent 5K in Drogheda.

Margaret led them home in a very impressive 20th place among the female finishers, recording a chip time of 24:21 and a gun time of 24:22. Catherine also finished well up the field, as she crossed the line in 58th place with a chip time of 26:49 and a gun time of 26:57. She thus took the honours in the inter-generational family battle, as daughter Emily came in just behind in 63rd place, registering chip and gun times of 27:02 and 27:04 respectively.

Emily is of course better known as an outstanding young high jumper, and is the reigning Irish Senior indoor champion in this event.

The weather was if anything even colder ten days later on Holy Thursday, when the Ray for 5K race took place in Dundalk. The snow fell steadily during the race and a bitter easterly wind certainly made its presence felt.

Margaret Finley once again proved her mettle, as she stormed home in an improved time of 24:05. Not too far behind was Maria Duffy, who knocked one second of her previous best to cross the line in a fine time of 24:19. Maria had a particularly busy day, as she led the pre-race warm-up, and then spent another half an hour after she finished herself back out on the course encouraging those who had yet to finish.

St Peter's AC will be holding its annual Flag Day on Thursday 25th 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 Geraldine needs to organise the day. All help will be deeply appreciated.

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