Seven of the schools athletes and coach Steven Macklin travelled to Italy to take part in the IAAF Cinque Mulini International Cross-Country at the end of January. The athletes took part in the youth 6km race for those born in 1993/1994 and raced to a superb team win, with 6 athletes finishing in the top 18. The races were held in the town of San Vittore Olona just outside Milan on a wonderful course. The course proved a big hit with the athletes with fast sections, small sharp banks and a trip through some old historic mills. The seven athletes took to the line in the youth 6km race in confidant fashion. The pace was very fast from the start and Patrick Coleman settled into the break away group of six athletes. He battled well throughout and was rewarded with a superb fourth place finish in 19.51, just six seconds from a podium place. Behing him the team had a great run, with Cullen Lynch and Ian Tobin having a wonderful last lap battle, eventually finishing ninth and tenth respectively. Mark Seacy had a fine run to come home in 13th and with other superb runs from Andrew O’Keeffe 15th, Jamie Sullivan 18th and Emmet Bracken 26th they easily won the team event. Well done to all the athletes, who had an experience I am sure that will stand to them for the World Schools Championships in April.