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A young Inter boys (Year 11&12) team were the headline performers for the College on a successful day at Mallusk. Despite the top five finishers on the school team all being eligible for this same race next year, the St. Malachy’s boys were able to see off the best teams in Ulster to claim the title and book their place at the All-Ireland Championships in Sligo. This was a highlight in a successful day which saw all four teams capable of progressing to the All-Ireland doing so by securing podium finishes.
Tim Scott ran strongly to lead the team with a fine 9th place finish, which saw him selected for the NI U16 team for the London mini marathon. Cormac O’Rourke continued to improve in 17th place. Conall Browne was slightly disappointed in 23rd and Conal McClean continued to impress in 24th to round out the scoring. Matteo Lavorca continued his return to form in 27th, a place that would have saw him score on any other team in Ulster. Kieron Conway (51st), Colm Holbeach (52nd) and Gerard McCool (62nd) completed the team finishers.
The Mini boys (Yr8) found the step up in standard tough in their first experience of the Ulster schools, but did well to finish 5th among the top 15 schools in Ulster. Sean Murray ran brilliantly to make his way up to 7th place after being impeded at the start. Luke Kelly competed well to finish in 15th. Conall McGirr fought hard to a 46th place finish and Matthew Lavery justified his late addition to the team by completing the scoring in 61st. Cian McGrath (67th), Kelvin Kearney (71st), Anthony McGarrigle (94th) and Simon Ostermayer (104th) competed well in the 150 strong field.
The Minor boys (Yr9) secured All Ireland qualification with the team Bronze. The top three finishers Callum Morgan, Daniel McComiskey and Ruari Gallagher packed well in 17th, 18th and 21st place respectively. Fionntan Campbell was the best of the rest in 54th to complete the scoring quartet. He was closely followed by Conor O’Neill in 66th and Darragh Gorman in 88th.
The Junior boys (Yr10) were the surprise package of the day securing an unexpected berth at the All Ireland Championship with another team bronze by one point. Adam Ferris made up for his poor start at the districts last week and was always in the lead pack throughout the race. He would hold on brilliantly to secure the highest individual finish of the day in 5th. Ciaran Beattie ran an exceptional race to finish 32nd. Fionn McQuillan and Keelan Benson completed the scoring in 39th and 40th.
The last race of the day saw the senior boys finish a slightly disappointing second place to an excellent St. Michael’s Enniskillen team. A combination of injuries and lack of preparation caught up on the senior boys and they lost to a much better team on the day. Eoin Maguire put in a first rate performance to finish in 8th place, his highest ever finish in an Ulster schools cross country. Connor McCann was disappointed with his 22 place finish and Darryl McNicholl competed well for 23rd despite nursing a few minor niggles. Lorcan McClean finished 31st and new team member Conor O’Rawe gained experience in 44th. Niall Armstrong did well to complete the muddy 6km senior course in 65th.
St. Malachy’s AC members Eoin McCann (4th senior boys, Rathmore) and Tony McCambridge (8thInter Boys, St Patrick’s) ran well to earn selection for the NI U18 and U16 London mini marathon teams.