Coláiste Mhuire, Mullingar’s minor cross country team earned themselves a place on the school’s sporting roll of honour last weekend when the won the All-Ireland team title in comprehensive fashion.
Athletes, coaches and supporters were welcomed to Clongowes Wood College in Clane, Kildare with freezing conditions and strong winds.
Thankfully the rain held off and despite the rain during the week the course held up well underfoot.
Coláiste Mhuire had minor and senior teams in action as well as having Diarmuid Fagan competing in the junior competition as an individual.
First up were the minor boys and they had to run nearly 3,000m over two laps. From the gun the lads were out strong and after the first kilometre there were five lads in the top 30. With sections of the course quite narrow being out in the leading pack was important as it meant the lads weren’t getting slowed by the huge numbers back down the field.
At the end, Ross Killalea was the first home. He finished in 10th position and was closely followed home by Tadhg Sheridan in 15th. With Adam Brady, Darragh Hannan and John Ryan in the top forty it seemed obvious that the team had won easily. There were also great runs by Daniel Hogan, Daniel Sweeney and Kyle Meleady who really dug deep throughout the race.
When the scores were announced an hour later, Coláiste Mhuire, with 79 points, were over 40 points clear of Sullivan Upper High School from County Down. This is the second time Coláiste Mhuire has won the minor competition, the last time being in 2011.
In the next Boys race Diarmuid Fagan was on the line, confident that he could run with the leaders. He got out well and was at the front but then only 500m into the 4000m race his heel was clipped and he lost a spike. With the ground greasy and mucky in parts this was a huge problem for young Fagan. He dug deep and was never far from the front.
When the final sprints came he finished fourth. This fine run means that Diarmuid has been selected to run for Ireland in two weeks at the annual SIAB Schools International.
The last athletes out for Coláiste Mhuire were the senior boys. Coláiste Mhuire won the last two Senior team competitions in 2017 and 2018 so it was great to see the lads competing again on this national stage. Euan Lagan led out the lads and finished 33rd. Euan is a great example to all the school’s younger athletes having made steady progress each year he has competed and this is a reflection of his commitment to training.
The team was Euan Lagan, Eoin Quinn, Jack Moran, John Whitelaw, Brian Martin, Ciarán Luby and Paul McCool. They finished a creditable fifth with St Colman’s, Newry winning the title by a narrow margin.
The team is very grateful to kit sponsors Mullingar Credit Union.
Also, the sponsored prizes for our first year trials really help the school spot talent, so thanks again to Wilf’s, Fagans, The Learning Lab, JP Foys, Brick Top Barbers, Player 1 Gaming, Outdoor Escape and Tom Birmingham Menswear.