There was a good turnout of Bicester AC runners for the second leg of the Oxford Mail Cross Country leg held on the hilly contours of Culham on Sunday 6th December. With the course buffeted by strong winds, this invariably made for tough conditions. Star of show for Bicester AC was Ben West who produced one of the finest cross country runs by a male Bicester runner for a number of years. Making his long awaited debut in the Oxon Mail League, he was rewarded with a quite magnificent 2nd placing in the under 15/17 race clocking 16mins 36 secs for the 4000 metre course. He was the leading under 15 competitor and now leads that age group in the overall standings after two races. Tom Gould also performed well in the same race placing 13th in the 31 strong field.
The under 13 boys packed very well again for another 2nd placing in the team competition which keep them in 2nd overall. Their challenge was spearheaded by Max Nicolle who placed 3rd which matched his effort in race 1 and keeps him in a strong 3rd overall in the standings after two events. He was well supported by ever improving Samuel Worfolk, who achieved his first ever top ten placing in 10th. The team placings was completed by Edward Joliffe who ran well for 14th with other contributions from Freddie Taylor (19th) and James Rendell (28th).
Amy Gould produced her best effort for some time as she placed 6th out of the 50 plus runners in the under 15/17 girl’s race which was the 3rd best effort by an under 15 girl and this has now moved her to 4th in the overall standings. Other Bicester efforts in this race included Molly Acton (34th), Libbie Nicklin (43rd), Holly Hunter (46th), Lauren Garside (48th) and Bethany Liversidge (52nd).
There were no team competitions in the under 11 race but Georgia Usher hinted at promise to come with a strong 5th in the under 11 girl’s race over 1,200 metres. She was followed home by Imogen Cox in 17th and Lottie Doherty (21st), but the latter remains high up in the overall standings after race 2. Other Bicester placings were Annie Joliffe (30th) and Rosie Newton (47th). Lucy Watts was an excellent 6th in the under 13 girl’s race run over a 2000 metre course which represented a solid improvement from her run in round 1. She was supported by Amelia Cox who was 17th and Frey Smith completed the team scorers in 36th which placed the team 5th.
Michael Cadle was the leading light in the under 11 boy’s race as he placed 13th. The relatively inexperienced Timothy Jones followed him with a fine 20th place. Other Bicester finishers included Harry Rendell 39th, Jospeh Nugent 42nd, Freddie Rendell 43rd and Ben Groves 46th. There were just three Bicester runners in the combined under 9 race with Holly Keeble (17th), Hollie Offord (29th) and Katie Groves (34th).