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History - Scotland 2006

In 2006 St Peter's AC coach Maria Duffy made contact with her counterpart Norman Gardiner of Pitreavie AAC in Dunfermline, Scotland. Their discussions resulted in arrangements being made for a group from St Peter's to travel to Scotland for a competition hosted by the Pitreavie club.

On Saturday 9th September 2006 twelve young athletes and four coaches from St Peter's AC made the journey southwards along the M1 motorway from their homes in County Louth to Dublin Airport. There they boarded a Ryanair aeroplane for the short flight from the capital of Ireland to the capital of Scotland. Norman Gardiner and some of his family met the group upon their arrival in Edinburgh. From the airport they drove northwards across the impressive Forth Bridge to Dunfermline in Fife.

The ten girls and two boys who travelled to Scotland were: Brianán Conway, Niamh Fussey, Linda Galligan, Eoin Gernon, Hilary Kerr, Ann McCartney, Olivia McDonald, Ailbhe McGuinness, Ellen McGuinness, Caoimhe McMahon, Kevin McManus and Niamh Mernagh. The athletes were accompanied by four adult coaches: Maria Duffy, Kathleen McConnell, Angela McDonald and Anne McGuinness.

The next day, Sunday 10th September, Pitreavie AAC hosted their 15th Young Athletes' Trophy Meeting at the Pitreavie track in Dunfermline. This annual end-of-season meet attracted athletes in the Under 11 to Under 17 age groups from throughout Scotland, as well as their Celtic and Gaelic "cousins" in the St Peter's contingent from across the Irish Sea. Conditions were good with most of the sprints and hurdles races having a slight following wind under the 2.0 m/s limit (over which performances are regarded as wind assisted).

St Peter's AC had just one athlete in action in the Under 11 Girls' events. This was Niamh Mernagh who finished 5th out of 14 in the Shot Putt with a throw of 4.25m. Niamh also competed in the 75m and 150m where she finished 4th in her heat in both races. Her time for the shorter distance was 12.6, but she showed impressive speed endurance to record 25.1 over 150m, less than double the time for double the distance.

Five athletes represented St Peter's AC in the Under 13 Girls' events. The star for the Dromiskin club in this age group was Brianán Conway, who claimed a silver medal in the Javelin with a throw of 18.79m. Brianán also threw 5.11m to finish 10th in the Shot Putt, and came 5th in her 200m heat in a time of 35.5. Caoimhe McMahon also competed in the Javelin, finishing 11th with a throw of 9.85m, and ran well in both the 70m Hurdles (3rd in her heat in 15.0) and the 800m (6th in her heat in 3:04.1).

Ailbhe McGuinness also ran well in both these races, finishing 4th behind Caoimhe in the hurdles heat in a time of 15.4, but beating her in the 800m heat in a time of 2:50.3. Ailbhe also jumped 1.10m for 8th place in the High Jump, just ahead of Niamh Fussey in 9th place with a 1.05m jump. Niamh also jumped 3.09m for 19th place in the Long Jump and ran in a separate heat of the 70m Hurdles, where her time of 17.0 was good enough for 5th place.

Ellen McGuinness finished 6th in this same heat with a 17.7 clocking, and also ran in the 800m where she was in a different heat to Ailbhe and Caoimhe. In this race she finished in 8th place with a time of 3:20.8. In addition Ellen had a 4.34m throw in the Shot Putt, which was good enough for 12th place.

Hilary Kerr competed in three of the Under 15 Girls’ events and just missed out on a medal with 4th, 5th and 6th place finishes. She ran 13.9 in both her heat and final of the 100m, which was good enough for 6th place in the latter. She displayed similar consistency in the 200m, running 28.3 in the heat and 28.4 in the final for 4th place. Hilary’s 4.57m performance in the Long Jump left her in 5th place, although she was only 7cm off a medal.

Ann McCartney impressed in the Under 17 Girls’ category, as she took silver in the 80m Hurdles with a 14.8 clocking. She also finished 5th in both the 200m (29.8 in the final after a 29.7 heat) and the Long Jump (4.28m).

Olivia McDonald was a double bronze medal winner in the Under 17 sprints. In the 100m she ran 13.5 in the final following a 13.3 heat. In the 200m she improved from 27.9 to 27.8 between the heat and the final. Olivia also jumped 3.79m for 8th place in the Long Jump. Linda Galligan was also in action at Under 17 level, finishing 4th in the 80m Hurdles in a time of 17.0 and 9th in the Long Jump with a 3.72m leap.

Just two boys made the trip to Scotland, and they both competed in the Under 17 age group. Kevin McManus jumped an impressive 1.85m to claim gold in the High Jump. He also took a bronze medal in the 100m Hurdles with a 17.5 clocking, and leapt 5.27m for 4th place in the Long Jump. Eoin Gernon also competed in the High Jump where his jump of 1.50m saw him finish in 5th place. Eoin was also in action in the 200m on the track, where he finished 4th in his heat in 27.5.

The following day, Monday 11th September, the St Peter's AC athletes and coaches, well pleased after their successes in the competition, spent some time sightseeing in the historic city of Edinburgh. They also enjoyed a game of ten-pin bowling and availed of the opportunity to visit some of Edinburgh's excellent shops. Later that evening the group flew back to Dublin and then travelled home to the "Wee County", tired but delighted with the successful outcome of their trip to Scotland.