Bicester AC took 19 runners to the first round of the winter long Oxford Mail Cross Country League which took place last Sunday in Newbury. The club fielded athletes in most of the age groups and there were improved performances amongst the Bicester contingent.

Numerically Bicester’s best turnout was in the combined under 15/17 boy’s run over 4,800 metres. And it was Max Nicolle who was the star turn as he began his Oxford Mail campaign with a fine 8th in the combined event in the 50 strong field clocking 17mins 23secs which was just 38 seconds off the winning run. Nicolle was 4th placer in the under 15 age group. He was followed by Edward Joliffe who ran a fine 29th in his debut run in this race, which was a particularly good run given that he competes over much shorter distances on the track. His time of 19mins 17secs was 6 seconds faster than the more experienced Samuel Worfolk who placed 31st. Michael Alborzpour was not disgraced in his debut League run finishing 37th in 19mins 46secs. And the team was completed by Zachiria Singer who was 46th in his debut cross country run (21mins 26secs).

There was a strong run from Lucy McGrath in the under 13 girl’s race run over a 2,500 metre course. McGrath was a fine 9th in 10mins 21secs and she was followed home by Imogen Cox who finished a good 13th (10mins 32secs) in her debut run in this age group. The team packed well and the placings were completed by Amy Willis (20th in 10mins 51secs).

Amelia Cox produced her best ever cross country run in the combined under 15/17 girl’s event run over 3,500 metres.  Although she is only first year as an under 15 competitor, Cox finished an excellent 11th in the 48 strong field clocking 14mins 05secs. Cox placed 7th in the under 15 age group. Bicester’s only other finisher was Lucy Tear who was 46th in the combined event with 17mins 25secs.

Michael Cadle was competing in hurdle races and throwing the javelin to good effect during the summer but Cadle showed that he had not lost any of his old cross country ability as he finished a fine 11th in the under 13 boy’s race over 2,500 metres (9mins 32secs). He was just ahead of Timothy Jones, who was making his debut in this age group, and who placed 14th (9mins 46secs). The Bicester scorers were completed by debutant Sami Singer who was 31st in 11mins 08secs.

The younger Bicester runners all found the going tough in their respective age groups. Owen Stocker led the team home in the under 11 boy’s race (1,500 metres) as he placed 28th. Bicester’s only other runner in this age group was Kyle Ransom who was 57th in the 72 strong field. There was just two girls who competed in the under 11 girls race also run over 1,500 metres with Alanna O Neill 30th (7mins 44secs) and cross country debutante Bethany Wetton 37th in 7mins 57secs.

There were two Bicester runners in the under 9 event, which is a combined boys and girl’s race run over a 1,200 metre course.  Isabel Smith was 17th (7th girl finisher) and cross country newcomer Annie Rose Willis 24th.

Written by N.Dolden