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Reports - January 2014


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28 January 2014

Last weekend was a very busy one for St Peter’s AC with several athletes from across a wide age range in action in three different indoor competitions.

Brendan Rogers got the weekend off to a great start on Saturday when he leapt 4.54m to win the Over 50 Long Jump title at the Irish Masters’ Indoor Championships in Athlone. The Dromiskin-based club’s chairman thus went one better than 2013, when he had claimed silver in the Long Jump at these championships. Brendan went on to place 5th in the 60m later in the day.

Also in action in the Over 50 age group was David Finley, who finished 4th in the Shot Putt and had a good run in the 60m.

It was the turn of three of the club’s teenage athletes to travel to Athlone on Sunday for the Irish Junior (Under 20) Indoor Championships.

Conor Durnin was a class apart in the Triple Jump, as he retained his national title with a performance of 13.45m.

Daniel Finley had a busy and successful day, winning silver in the Weight for Distance with a 7.00m throw and bronze in the Shot Putt with a best effort of 11.48m. He also finished 8th behind Conor in the Triple Jump with a best leap of 10.31m.

Chloe Finley leapt 9.94m to record a 6th place finish in the Triple Jump. Conor and Daniel will still be in the Junior age group next year, while Chloe will be eligible to compete in this age group until the end of 2017.

The Cushinstown AC Indoor Meet in County Meath provided the stage for an excellent set of performances by seven of the club’s youngest athletes on Sunday. Their impressive efforts yielded three gold, three silver and one bronze medal for St Peter’s.

Gabriel Bell won the Under 14 High Jump with a leap of 1.46m, jumped 4.44m for silver in the Under 15 Long Jump and threw 7.78m for bronze in the Under 14 Shot Putt. Seán Allen stormed to victory in the Under 10 60m and also competed in the Under 11 Long Jump.

Katie Murphy recorded a mighty personal best of 12.12m to win the Under 14 Shot Putt. Niamh Brady took silver in the Under 10 60m and leapt 3.09m for 5th place in the Under 11 Long Jump. Lucy Brennan, a newcomer to the club, showed great promise for the future as she finished 2nd in the Under 8 60m.

Dean Murtagh just missed out on the podium with a 4th place finish in the Under 10 60m and he was also in action in the Under 11 Long Jump. In the Under 11 60m Hazel Murphy finished in 4th place in her heat, narrowly missing out on a place in the final.

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21 January 2014

St Peter’s AC athlete Mark Rogers learned recently that he has been selected to receive the Athletic Association of Ireland’s annual award as the best juvenile athlete in County Louth in 2013. These awards are based on performances in Irish championship competition during the year.

During the indoor season Mark won the Irish Under 18 title in the Pentathlon. He also took silver in the Shot Putt and bronze in the High Jump in the same age group.

When the action moved outdoors in the summer, Mark also won one national medal of each hue in the Under 18 age group, as he was crowned champion of Ireland in the 400m Hurdles, and claimed silver and bronze medals in the Octathlon and High Jump respectively.

Mark’s great year in 2013 also encompassed the setting of a new Irish Youths’ record in the Octathlon when winning that event at a meet in London. In addition he captained the winning Irish Under 18 Boys’ team in the Celtic Games international match in Colwyn Bay, which pitted Ireland against Scotland and Wales and in which he finished 3rd in the 400m Hurdles himself.

Prior to Mark being honoured for his performances last year, the Dromiskin-based club’s most recent recipient of this award was his sister, high jumper Emily Rogers, a two-time winner following her great seasons in 2009 and 2010. Before that javelin thrower Olivia McDonald was honoured for the 2008 season, while long jumper and sprinter Hilary Kerr took the laurels for both 2005 and 2007.

St Peter’s AC’s most recent male recipient of this award had been high jumper Kevin McManus, in recognition of his exploits in 2006, while the club’s first athlete to receive this accolade was javelin thrower and sprinter Peter McDonald, Olivia’s brother, who was honoured following both the 2002 and 2004 seasons.

In the fourteen years since the unifying of the sport in Louth with the formation of the Athletic Association of Ireland at the end of 1999, St Peter’s AC members have won no fewer than nine of the association’s awards for the best juvenile athletes in the county.

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14 January 2014

2014 got off to a great start on the competitive front for St Peter’s AC at the Irish Combined Events’ Indoor Championships in Athlone last Saturday. Two athletes from the Dromiskin-based club travelled to the Midlands venue and they both returned home with national medals.

Mark Rogers emerged victorious in the Junior (Under 20) Pentathlon, despite missing a good chunk of training recently following an operation. His overall total of 3175 points was a whopping 474 points ahead of the silver medallist, and he was the leading athlete in four of the five events.

Mark’s most impressive individual performance was perhaps the Shot Putt, in which he threw 11.73m to add over 50cm to his previous personal best. He also recorded solid performances of 9.19 in the 60m Hurdles, 1.85m in the High Jump, 5.55m in the Long Jump and 2:54.52 in the 1000m.

Gabriel Bell was also very impressive as he took the bronze medal in a big field in the Under 14 Pentathlon with a total of 1969 points. While Mark has accumulated a very impressive collection of national medals over the years, this was just Gabriel’s second time to win one, following his silver in the Under 13 Long Jump indoors last year.

Gabriel had a very solid set of performances across the five events, registering 10.93 in the 60m Hurdles, 1.49m in the High Jump (the second best in the field), 8.47m in the Shot Putt, 4.45m in the Long Jump and 2:43.45 in the 800m.

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7 January 2014

Last Saturday night the Athletics Leinster Star Awards were presented at a function in the Seven Oaks Hotel in Carlow. The recipient of the award for the best juvenile male athlete in County Louth for the third successive year was Mark Rogers of St Peter’s AC. These awards are based on performances in Leinster championship competition in 2013.

During the indoor season Mark won the provincial Under 18 titles in the High Jump and Shot Putt. He also took silvers in the Under 18 4x200m relay and in the Junior (Under 20) High Jump.

When the action moved outdoors in the summer, Mark added four more Leinster Under 18 titles to his collection, as he was crowned provincial champion in the 400m Hurdles, High Jump, Shot Putt and Pentathlon.

Mark also achieved great success at national and international level, setting a new Irish Youths’ record in the Octathlon and captaining the Irish Under 18 Boys’ team in the Celtic Games international match involving Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

Prior to Mark being honoured for his performances in the past three years, the Dromiskin-based club’s most recent male recipient of this award was high jumper Kevin McManus, following his great season in 2007. Before that javelin thrower and sprinter Peter McDonald was a three-time winner as a result of his achievements in 2002, 2004 and 2005.

High jumper Emily Rogers, Mark's sister, won the female award three years ago. Long jumper and sprinter Hilary Kerr had the remarkable honour of winning the girls' award for four consecutive years from 2006 to 2009 inclusive. Previously Olivia McDonald, now a multiple Irish Senior Javelin medallist, was honoured for the 2005 season, and Shauna Martin, a fine all-rounder, took the laurels for 2004. Another St Peter’s AC athlete was the inaugural recipient of this accolade, when middle distance runner Aoife McCarthy (now Coleman) was judged Louth’s outstanding juvenile female athlete at the end of the 2000 season.

In the 14 years since the unifying of the sport in Louth and Leinster with the formation of the Athletic Association of Ireland at the end of 1999, St Peter’s AC athletes have won no fewer than 15 of the 28 Athletics Leinster Star Awards for the best juvenile athletes in the county.

Mary Agnew also received a special award for Services to Athletics at last Saturday night’s Leinster function. She was honoured for her contribution to the development of athletics in County Louth, together with her willingness to serve the sport at many levels throughout her career.

Mary’s involvement in athletics began in the early 1980s when she ran in the Dublin City Marathon a few times. She initially joined Dunleer AC and became very involved in the sport as an athlete, coach and administrator.

Mary subsequently moved to St Peter’s AC and was perhaps best known in recent years as the Chairperson of Athletics Louth since the merger of the previous governing bodies to form the AAI in 1999, a position which she continued to hold until 2012. In fact she was instrumental in securing the necessary support for that historic merger to take place. These days she is also very active in pitch and putt, being a member of the Collon club in that sport.

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