The members of Bicester AC and Banbury Harriers produced a monster effort combining together to organise at short notice the 2nd round of the Oxford Mail Cross Country League event, held last Sunday at Adderbury.   This is the first time that Bicester, who do not have a senior section, have organized an Oxford Mail Cross Country event for several years.  Comments fed back on the event were generally favourable with one describing the course as offering “a bit of everything”.

It was another stellar weekend for Ben West who competed on both Saturday and Sunday.  Running in the third round of the Chiltern League Cross Country event on Saturday at Luton, West once again came up against hot competition from Milton Keynes AC.  West was a fine 3rd out of the 37 competing athletes in the under 17 men’s race clocking 19mins 31secs, but was again a comprehensive winner of the division 2 event.  On Sunday and back in Oxfordshire, West was again too strong for the opposition as he sauntered to victory in the under 15/17 men’s race with a time of  16mins 11 secs, which was 27secs in front of 2nd.  The team placed third as under 15 Max Nicolle again equipped himself against much older athletes.  Nicolle was 11th in 18mins 20secs which was 2nd faster under 15 on the day and Samuel Worfolk completed the team scorers in 30th (21mins 59secs).

One of the biggest improvers of the day for Bicester AC was under 13 girl Georgia Usher who improved 8 places on her first round effort in placing 4th in 10mins 13ssecs.  Significantly she overturned form with several of her rivals but she pushed all the way by teammate, Lucy Watts who was having her first run of the season.  Watts placed 6th, just 8 seconds down on Usher.  Amelia Cox closed the team in 21st place with 10mins 55secs with Bicester placing 3rd.  Bicester’s other finishers were Lottie Doherty (34th in 11 mins 59secs) and Alicia Davies (43rd in 13 mins 07secs).

Bicester other big improver on the day was under 20 athlete Tom Gould who improved 44 places in the senior men’s race.  Gould was a competitive 59th out of the 257 finishers clocking 33mins 26secs and finishing amongst some very good distance runners.

There was some very good Bicester packing towards the front end of the field in the under 11 girl’s race.  The Bicester team was again headed home by Imogen Cox, who kept up the good effort that she posted in round 1 with another 8th place (6mins 36secs).  She was followed by cross country debutant, Anna Jollife, who put in a splendid effort for 10th (6mins 38secs).  She was only just clear of the Couzen twins with Anna 2 places down in 12th (6mins 40secs) and Bella 14th (6mins 42secs).  Isla Bohannon put in an improved effort over round 1 finishing a fine 20th in 6mins 52secs.  Other Bicester finishers in this race were Alanna O Neill (39th in 7mins 35secs), Hollie Offord (40th in 7mins 36secs), Katie Groves (43rd in 7mins 45secs) and Emily Herring (46th in 8mins 05secs).

Both the other boy’s teams found the going tough but the under 13’s were a fraction away from being the 3rd team.  Freddie Taylor lead the team home in 12th place (10mins 20secs), but he was chased all the way by the improving Edward Jollife who was 15th (10mins 34secs).  The team was completed by Michale Cadle (20th in 11mins 2secs.  Timothy Jones was one of 3 Bicester runners in the top 20 in the under 11 race as he took 13th place (6mins 16secs).  Freddie Rendell was just 5secs down in 16th and there was a further 5 secs back to Owen Stocker who finished 19th.  Bicester’s other finisher was Harry Rendell (6mins 58secs).

Amy /Gould led home the Bicester finishers in the under 15/17 girl’s race finishing 20th (16mins 13secs).  She had a minute to spare over next placer Molly Acton who was 28th (17mins 17secs) with Holly Hunter completing the scorers in 31st (18mins 34secs).

Another Bicester AC runner, Millie Couzens, was in action in Saturday’s Chiltern League event in Luton and she was 4th in the under 13 girl’s race, in a 91 strong field, clocking 10mins 56secs.  Couzens was first out of the 37 runners who contested the division 2 race.