Over 1800 athletes descended on the Santry cross country course for the annual 'Brother' schools festival of cross country running. This race really marks the opening of the cross country season which will continue until March 3rd which is the date for the All Ireland Schools Cross Country Championships
Although St Colman's had three teams of just four athletes per team, it was quality all the way as we took home 1 team gold and 2 team bronze medals. We also had a individual podium place with Miceal McCaul taking bronze in the U17 race
The U14 team of Brian Grant, Miceal Rice , Cormac O'Reilly, and Brogan McComiskey, got off to cracking start in the opening boys race, with Miceal taking the lead half way round the 1500M lap, with Brian, Cormac, and Brogan, in close proximity, although he could not maintain the lead , his brave pace making ensured close packing by the St Colman's team, Brian eventually getting past him to lead the team home in first place .
The standard was very high in the U15 race , again the St Colman's team packed very well, with Leo Magee finishing in 8th place out of over 160 in the race , Calum McDonagh , Myles Boyd, and Thomas O'Ceallaigh also finished inside the top 20 to secure team bronze medals and with only 10 points between the top three teams , it was a close affair indeed.
With the winner of last year's All Ireland Schools Cross Country Championships Sean Donoghue in the field it was always going to be a tough ask for Miceal McCaul to claim his first win in a major schools race, but he set his stall out from the gun taking the lead after the opening 400M and eventually settling in beside the Irish Champion as they proceeded to leave all but one of the field behind, eventually Sean's superior track speed ( He also won the All Ireland 1500 track title) began to tell as he moved away from Miceal in the closing stages and Miceal was just caught just before the home straight for the silver medal and had to settle for third , but over such a short distance of 3000M for him , it was a very competent performance by Miceal who now looks forward to racing over much longer distances as the season progresses. With Cathal Farrelly, Coilean Connell , and an injury free Oran Mccafferty packing well , The College took the bronze team medals, but again there was only 12 points between the top 3 teams, which augurs well for this young team.
In the senior Boys race although a year young Jack O Farrell in 6th and Tom Magee in 12th ran extremely well indeed. The next outing will be The Newry Mourne and Down cross country races at Kilbroney