Last Saturday was the first day of the 2012 Irish Juvenile Track and Field Championships. The venue was Tullamore, as has been customary in recent years, and it proved to be another very successful day for St Peter’s AC.
The team of six teenage athletes from the Dromiskin-based club won one gold, one silver and two bronze medals, and they all recorded top eight finishes.
Having won silver in these championships in 2009, 2010 and 2011, Lauren Finegan finally made it to the top of the podium with a great gold in the Under 16 Girls’ Javelin.
She added three metres to her previous personal best to take the title with a 33.59m throw. Having also won the Irish Schools’ title last month, she is now indisputably the country’s top javelin thrower in her age group.
Niamh Fussey showed that her big breakthrough earlier this year when she took silver in the Irish Indoor Championships was no flash in the pan. She repeated that feat on Saturday, as she crossed the line in 2nd place in the Under 18 Girls’ 100m Hurdles, stopping the clock at 16.11 seconds.
Mark Rogers added yet another national medal to his impressive collection when he claimed bronze in the Under 17 Boys’ High Jump with a clearance of 1.80m. Earlier in the day he had raced to a 5th place finish in the final of the 100m Hurdles, in which he registered a time of 15.60 seconds.
Aaron Finley, now in his final year in the juvenile ranks, won his first national medal in the colours of St Peter’s AC, as he took bronze in the Under 19 Boys’ Javelin. His best throw on the day was measured at 37.02m.
Conor Durnin came within a mere 8cm of his personal best in leaping 6.39m in the Under 17 Boys’ Long Jump. This earned him 4th place in a high quality field.
Liam Fussey, Niamh’s younger brother, was competing in a national championships for the first time and he acquitted himself extremely well. He advanced to the final eight at the end of the first three rounds of the Under 16 Boys’ Javelin, and can be very pleased with his 8th place finish with a personal best of 35.89m.
Meanwhile on Sunday in the Boys U17, Mark Rogers competed in the 300m Hurdles and finished in a credible 4th place.
Club-mate Niamh Fussey who won the silver medal in the Short Hurdles on Saturday also competed in the 400m Hurdles on Sunday. Despite having to run a heat and a final, Niamh ran well finishing in 5th position.
In the Girls U15 Chloe Finley took 5th place in the 250m Hurdles. Chloe went one further in the Shot Putt, winning a bronze medal in convincing style.
In the Girls U13 Emma McDermott, in her first ever national final, finished with a personal best in the Shot putt in 5th place.
At Boys U17 Conor Durnin added to the tally of medals winning a gold medal in the Triple Jump. This was Conor’s first outdoor national medal.