Mallusk playing fields, just to the north of Belfast played host to this years All Ireland Schools Cross Country. In the region of one thousand athletes traveled northwards to compete in tough conditions. Even though it didn’t rain much on the day, the damage had already been done by the torrential downpours of the last fortnight! The course was waterlogged and for long stretches athletes ran through five to six inches of muck.

Having won the Senior team title in the Leinster Schools there was some expectation that Colaiste Mhuire could emulate the School’s victories in 2002 and 2013 in this the highlight of the Schools fixtures each year. On the day the lads didn’t disappoint as they were victorious by a clear margin of twenty six points in the end. Jamie Battle led the way. Jamie started his running career in first year in Colaiste Mhuire and he’s continued to improve throughout his five years in the school. On Saturday he was unlucky to be knocked to the ground twice but he lived up to his name and battled all the way. After a cagey first mile a leading group got away and Jamie was prominent with the leaders, pushing the pace all the way. In the last lap he was in second for long stretches and was only beaten to the silver for less than a second.

Next home was Ciaran Nolan, who started conservatively and then set about slowly picking his way through the field. This tactic worked a treat as Ciaran put in a massive effort for his team. Michael Moran was the next home and his run is his best performance ever at a Schools All Ireland. He was passing people right through to the final straight and should be rightly proud of his efforts. James Maxwell would usually be the third scorer on this team but a collar bone injury three weeks ago meant that he was in a lot of discomfort. He still ran a fabulous race and finished inside the top fifty. The Mullingar team was rounded out by James Drumm, Ryan Mannering, Euan Lagan and Padraig Heffernan who all ran their hearts out and rewarded by winning All Ireland gold medals.

Colaiste Mhuire was one of the few Schools to have three teams qualified for the event and the Junior and Intermediate lads ran well and can count themselves unlucky not to have received medals as both squads found themselves in fourth place. However the lads will surely be inspired by the Senior success and will medal in the years to come.
Intermediate Boys- Jack Moran, John Whitelaw, Andrew Daly, Enda Gaffney, Adam Treanor, Brian Martin, Jenson Nagle and Charlie Drumm.

Junior Boys- Colin Smith, Rian Hogan, Sean Cronin, Paul McCoole, Conor Gibney, Donal Mulvihill, Sam Carey and Ruairi Fagan.

We would like to thank all the parents and supporters who traveled up to Belfast. Every few yards you could find a Mullingar supporter cheering loudly for the Schools young athletes.