Ben West one again rewrote the Bicester AC record books last Saturday as he became the first ever Bicester runner to achieve a top ten finish in the UK inter country cross country championships held at Loughborough. Representing Oxfordshire, West finished a magnificent 7th out of the 281 runners who contested the under 17 men’s race run over 6km, West’s time of 21mins 26secs was less than a minute behind the winner Rory Leonard from Morpeth Harriers. Significantly West finished comfortably ahead of Milton Keynes’s Jack Meijer who defeated West in the final Chiltern League cross country fixture. West was Oxfordshire’s highest finisher in any age group and his 7th place helped the county team to 28th place in the under 17 men’s race.
There were four other Bicester runners representing their county and all performed creditably. Max Nicolle contested the under 15 boy’s race over a 4.5k course and produced a much improved run compared to last year as he placed 124th out of the 303 finishers with 20mins 18secs. Nicolle was amongst the scorers for Oxfordshire as the team placed 31st out of the 42 competing teams. Although not counting for the team, much improved cross country performer Edward Joliffe finished a very creditable 226th clocking 21mins 39secs.
Oliver Conway, running in his first ever inter county cross county event, equipped himself very well recording a top half finish in the under 13 boy’s race run over 3k. Conway finished 141st out of the 309 finishers clocking 14mins 22secs and helped the team to one of Oxfordshire’s best team performances on the day as they placed 13th out of the 42 competing teams.
Lucy McGrath also made her maiden bow in the inter county cross country championships in the under 13 girl’s race and she was far from disgraced finishing a promising 215th out of the 302 finishers and counting for the Oxfordshire team who were 31st. McGrath clocked 17mins 23secs for the 3k course.
Written by N.Dolden