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Reports - December 2014

30 December » 23 December » 16 December » 9 December » 2 December »

30 December 2014

The athletes of Dromiskin-based St Peter’s AC enjoyed tremendous success in 2014, winning a host of medals at local, national and international level.

The year off to a great start when Mark Rogers won the Junior (U20) Pentathlon at the Irish Combined Events’ Indoor Championships in January. Later that month Brendan Rogers won the M50 Long Jump at the Irish Masters’ Indoor Championships and then Conor Durnin won the Triple Jump at the Irish Junior Indoor Championships.

A superb indoor season concluded with two more national titles at the Irish Juvenile Indoor Championships in March, as Conor Durnin and Katie Murphy won the U19 Triple Jump and U14 Shot respectively.

There was a fantastic start to the outdoor season in May when Emily Rogers won the High Jump at the Scotland v Ireland Universities’ International.

In June James Meenan won both the 100m and 200m at the Special Olympics Ireland Games and later learned that he will represent Ireland in the 2015 Special Olympics World Games.

July began with gold for Mark Rogers in the Junior 400m Hurdles, silvers for Aaron Finley in the U23 Javelin and Emily Rogers in the U23 High Jump and bronze for Daniel Finley in the Junior Javelin at the Irish Junior & U23 Championships.

The success continued later that month when Emily Rogers and Olivia McDonald both won medals at the country’s premier domestic competition, the Irish Senior Championships. Emily finished 2nd in the High Jump and Olivia took bronze in the Javelin.

Also in July club athletes won nine medals at the Irish Juvenile Championships. Katie Murphy won the U14 Shot and Mark Rogers finished 2nd in both the U19 400m Hurdles and High Jump. Daniel Finley took silver in the U19 Javelin and bronze in both Shot and Discus. Conor Durnin claimed silver in the U19 Triple Jump and bronze in the 100m, while Lauren Finegan finished 2nd in the U18 Javelin.

Others to finish in the top six at the Irish Juvenile Championships were Gabriel Bell, Chloe Finley and Martin McGrane, while Seán Allen, Ava Brennan, Orlaith McMahon, Dean Murtagh and Marieclaire Rogers had all performed well at the Leinster Championships.

At the beginning of August there were bronzes for Mark Rogers and Gabriel Bell, in the Senior Decathlon and U14 Pentathlon respectively, at the Irish Combined Events’ Championships.

Also in August Lauren Finegan, representing the Irish Development team, finished 4th in the U18 Javelin at the Celtic Games. Kathleen McConnnell and Angela McDonald were coaches with the Irish teams at the Celtic Games, which saw them pitted against their counterparts from Scotland and Wales.

Later in August the track and field season drew to a close at the Scottish Senior Championships with bronzes for Olivia McDonald and Tom McGrane in the Javelin and Shot respectively.

The year finished on a high note when five athletes from the club received Louth Athlete of the Year awards in November. These were Gabriel Bell, Niamh Brady, Conor Durnin, Chloe Finley and Daniel Finley.

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23 December 2014

Athletics Ireland recently published a list of all athletes known to have represented Ireland in official senior international competitions, starting with the Ireland v England match at Lansdowne Road in Dublin in June 1876, which is widely regarded as the world’s first international athletics competition. Two athletes on the list represented Ireland while members of Dromiskin-based St Peter’s AC.

The first to do so was heptathlete Maria Mackin (now Duffy), who represented her country in the Quadrangular Combined Events’ International between Ireland, Great Britain, Italy and Spain in Lorca, Spain, in June 1988.

More recently, in June 2009, javelin thrower Olivia McDonald wore the Irish vest in the European Team Championships (Second League) in Banská Bystrica, Slovakia. This match pitted Ireland against Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Latvia, Lithuania and Slovakia.

Both Maria and Olivia are still active members of St Peter’s with Olivia showing a very welcome return to form this year after a few quiet years.

Olivia is also one of seven athletes from the club who have represented Ireland at underage level in the Celtic Games, an annual match at Under 16 and Under 18 level involving teams from Ireland, Scotland and Wales. She did so in 2005, 2006 and 2007.

Others from St Peter’s to have competed in the Celtic Games are Peter McDonald (Javelin, 2002 and 2004), Kevin McManus (High Jump, 2006), Emily Rogers (High Jump, 2010), Conor Durnin (Triple Jump, 2012), Lauren Finegan (Javelin, 2012) and Mark Rogers (400m Hurdles, 2013). It is hoped that at least some of these will make the breakthrough to represent Ireland in an official senior international competition some day.

Kathleen McConnell and Angela McDonald have also been honoured as coaches with the Irish Celtic Games team on several occasions in recent years.

The original St Peter’s AC was founded in 1955 but folded in 1959 before being re-established in 1986. Two other athletes with connections to the club are included in the Athletics Ireland compilation, as they represented Ireland at senior level during the intervening period.

Noel Carroll had started his athletics career as a member of St Peter’s in the 1950s. He made his Irish senior international debut in August 1961 in a triangular match against Scotland and Wales in Cardiff. He went on the appear for Ireland a total of 20 times at senior level in the 400m, 800m and 4x400m, with his final appearance being 13 years later in the Ireland v Portugal match at Belfield in Dublin in July 1974.

In between these two international matches, Noel competed in two Olympic Games (Tokyo 1964 and Mexico City 1968), three European Championships, five European Indoor Championships (in which he won three gold medals and one bronze medal over 800m), one Europa Cup match and seven other dual and triangular international matches.

Some years later, Tom McGrane, a current member of the club, wore the green vest of Ireland in the 400m and 4x400m in a triangular match against Catalonia and Scotland at Santry in Dublin in June 1985.

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16 December 2014

Last Saturday week Catherine Rogers of St Peter’s AC enjoyed a very successful marathon debut in the scenic Clonakilty Waterfront Marathon in County Cork. With a chip time of 4:30:39 and a gun time of 4:31:09, she finished in the top half of the field among all the female finishers – 32nd out of 67 – and was 6th fastest in the Over 50 age category on a day which was blessed with perfect weather for long distance running.

Catherine, who trained for this race with Team Carrie, judged her pace excellently, something which is not so common among debutantes at this classic distance. She averaged a very steady 10:27 minutes per mile for the first 22 miles before making light work of the infamous “wall” and increasing her pace to 9:44 minutes per mile over the final four miles. This very strong finish saw her overtake no fewer than 30 other runners, male and female, during those final four miles.

Catherine’s family – husband Brendan Rogers, daughter Emily Rogers and son Mark Rogers, themselves all outstanding athletes with St Peter’s AC – also made the long journey to Clonakilty to support her. Besides taking great satisfaction from running so well in her first marathon, Catherine was delighted that her efforts resulted in her raising money for her two chosen charities – the Gary Kelly Cancer Support Centre and Focus Ireland.

The regular St Peter’s AC training sessions in Dromiskin will continue this week, but there will be no sessions from Tuesday 23rd December to Thursday 1st January inclusive. Training will resume as normal on Tuesday 6th January after the Christmas and New Year break.

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9 December 2014

Seán Allen of St Peter’s AC had a great run in the Under 11 Boys’ race in the Irish Juvenile Cross Country Championships in Santry, Dublin, last Sunday. He crossed the line in 76th place out of 174 finishers at the end of the 1500m course. Considering that he will still be eligible for this age group next year, this was a particularly meritorious performance.

Seán was the fourth man home on the Louth team which finished in 7th place overall in the inter-county contest. This particular honour was won by the Cork team, with the Wee County ranking a fine second behind Wexford among the Leinster counties.

The Dromiskin-based club has a great balance of members across the age groups and this was evident last Sunday week when Brendan Rogers, the club chairperson, finished 4th in the Over 55 age group in the Louth Masters’ Cross Country Championships. He registered a time of 24:40 for the 5000m race, which was held over a traditional, challenging cross country course through the lands of his brother, Andrew Rogers, in Togher. This was a new venue for these championships and it was very well received by the athletes from clubs across the county who competed on the day.

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2 December 2014

Last Friday night the members, parents and friends of St Peter’s AC took a break from the rigours of training and the pressures competition for the club’s awards function. This was held in the St Joseph’s GFC clubrooms in Dromiskin, and the athletics club is very grateful to the GAA club for the use of its fine facilities.

There was a good turnout of athletes and their family members for what turned out to be a very enjoyable celebration the club’s many achievements during 2014 – one of the most successful years in the history of the club. The MC on the night was Angela McDonald, ably assisted by Kathleen McConnell, both of whom did an excellent job, while Eilish Brady and Brendan Rogers presented the awards.

The first awards of the night were presented to the club's youngest athletes who formed the U10 Boys’ and Girls’ cross country teams. The proud recipients were Seán Allen, Justin Cooney, Ronan Deery, Pearse Grimes, Cormac McKeown, Rory McLoughlin, Dean Murtagh, Judith Bell, Niamh Brady, Lucy Brennan, Julie McLoughlin and Katie Mulligan.

The Athlete of the Year awards went to Seán Allen (U9 to U13 Boys’ Track and Field and Cross Country), Niamh Brady (U9 to U13 Girls’ Track and Field and Cross Country), Daniel Finley (U14 to U19 Boys’ Track and Field), Katie Murphy (U14 to U19 Girls’ Track and Field), Luke Finley (U14 to U19 Cross Country) and Brendan Rogers (Masters). Seán and Niamh both received two of these awards – one apiece for Track and Field and Cross Country.

Luke Finley also received the Most Improved Athlete of the Year award and Chloe Finley was honoured with the Clubperson of the Year award as voted for by her fellow athletes.

St Peter’s AC also presents five perpetual trophies each year. This year the Richardson Shield went to Orlaith McMahon, Marieclaire Rogers was awarded the Angela McDonald Trophy and Ava Brennan was presented with the Maria Mackin Shield. Katie Murphy was honoured with the Richardson Cup for the throwing events and Gabriel Bell received the Jumps Cup.

The club’s athletes who won gold medals in Irish national championships since 2012 each received an award in recognition of their outstanding achievements. Those thus honoured were Maria Duffy, Conor Durnin, Lauren Finegan, Niamh Fussey, James Meenan, Katie Murphy, Brendan Rogers, Emily Rogers and Mark Rogers.

The presentations drew to a close with the presentation of two special awards. James Meenan was honoured in recognition of his selection to represent Ireland in the 100m and 200m in the Special Olympics World Games in Los Angeles in 2015. Guest of honour, Brian Lynch of North East Runners, was honoured for his great achievement in winning the World Masters’ Indoor M60 1500m title, setting a new world record in the process, in Budapest last March.

After the conclusion of the presentations Mark Rogers took the mic to pay tribute to Kathleen McConnell, Angela McDonald and the other coaches for all their work on behalf of the club.

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