Nearly 100 athletes attended the final two weeks of Bicester AC’s summer athletics training where an internal competition was organised open to Bicester AC athletes at Bicester School.  It brought to an end a challenging few months where the Covid pandemic has limited summer training and competition. 

The club has risen to the challenge of providing training within the confines of the restrictions set by government.  Online training was provided when the lockdown restrictions were at their most limiting with a gradual return to limited face to face training as the lockdown restrictions eased.  This delicate balancing act between Covid compliant training was masterminded by Paul Groves, Emma Gould and Tom Gould assisted by club coaches, committee and parent helpers and youth leaders covering anything up to four one-hour sessions per week.  The competition demonstrated that most athletes had a high level of fitness with several best performances recorded.

The ethos of the competition was best represented by Bicester’s longest serving junior athlete and man for all seasons Michael Cadle.  He closed the two weeks of the competition with victory in the under 15plus 100 metres, beating off strong competition from trialist Miguel Zulu, who had been burning up the summer training sessions.  As the competition was unofficial, performances could not be recognised as official personal bests.  As Bicester does not have its own running track, foot races were held on specially set up and accurately measured courses on the grass surface at Bicester School.  This did not stop Cadle from running a best ever 100 metres (13.3secs), long jumping over 5 metres for first time (5.02m) and putting his best ever shot putt (7.69m).  And Cadle also took the javelin with 18.42m, not a bad haul for an athlete with the versatility to win a junior 10k road race in 2019.  Not that Zulu was to be outdone as he produced a scintillating effort to win the 800 metres (2mins 18.9secs) with a win in what was an enthralling under 15plus 1500 metres (4mins 57.9secs).  He was also fastest over 100 metres with his time from the previous week (13.00secs) beating Cadle’s effort in week 2.

Bicester’s best all round athlete from last season was Samuel Rayson.  Rayson showed that he had lost none of his competitive edge producing his best ever long jump to win in the under 15plus competition (5.70m).  And he repeated the winning thread in the shot with a winning putt of 10.91m which was also a best.  Trialist Joey Johnson acquitted himself well as he produced a swift 13.5secs in the final 100 metre sprint to finish close behind Cadle and Zulu and his shot putt of 9.15m was second best only to Rayson.

In winning the 1500 metres Zulu towed around a trio of Bicester athletes who had a tremendous scrap for runner up spot.  Sam Njunga perhaps paid the penalty in trying to go with Zulu and just lost out to Finley Colverson-Martin in a tight finish with Colverson Martin clocking 5mins 3.1secs just two tenths of a second ahead of Njunga.  Tim Jones has enjoyed a good summer’s training, and this manifested itself in good performances in the 800 metres (2mins 40.6secs) and 1500 metres (5mins 8.9secs).

Emily Horring was first under 15 girlplus in the long jump with a new personal best mark of 4.23m and she was also leading under 15plus girl in the javelin with a throw of 16.58m.  Jenny Critchley also beat her personal best mark in the long jump (3.96m) and was the leading under 15plus girl in the 800m (2m 37.5s). 

In the younger age groups, Georgia Bower produced a couple of strong efforts in the sprint and long jump.  She was the leading under 13 year 1 finisher in both events producing the 2nd fastest time of any 13 in the 100m with a swift 15.9secs clocking.  She also produced the 3rd longest jump of any under 13 in the long jump with a 3.49m leap, 45cm in advance of her personal best.

Kristin Senior was the fastest under 13 finisher in the 100m with a 15.6secs clocking.  and also produced strong efforts in the long jump (2nd and a leap of 3.58m) and the 800m, where she was the leading under 13 girl finisher (3m 16.1s).  Jasmine Hendon was in superb form in both the 100m and the long jump.  She was 3rd fastest under 13 girl finisher behind Senior and Bower in the 100m but ahead of her previous best mark clocking 16.1secs.  However, it was in the long jump where she excelled producing the longest under 13 leap of the day with 3.82m, some 40cm in advance of her previous best.

The under 13 boys fared rather better in the javelin and 800m.  First year under 13 Aston Mcandrew – Uren, in his first ever competitive javelin, launched the javelin to 12.73m pipping Robson Matthews, who still threw in advance of his previous best mark with 12.54m.  Matthews, who has mainly concentrated on the sprints, produced an encouraging effort in the 800m for 2nd place (3mins 9.5secs).  He was beaten to first place by trialist Thomas Styles, who impressed with his first ever 800m track effort in 3mins 00.1secs. 

There was a similar results profile in the under 11 competition with girl winners in the sprint and long jump and the boys on top in the howler and 600m.  Amber Busby showed an extraordinary improvement to produce the longest under 11 long jump, improving 53cm on her best with a winning mark of 3.34m.  The under 11 girl’s long jump was one of the most keenly contested competitions with Charlotte Hornby just 4cm behind Busby and a massive 86cm in advance of her best.  Hornby also placed well in the howler where she was 3rd as well as running well in the 600m and 100m  Ella Myers Finnegan, in her first ever long jump competition, was only a further 1cm back in 3rd and Olivia Naidu Johnson 2cm further back in 4th but 117cm in advance of her previous best.

Naidu Johnson enjoyed better luck in the 75m with the fastest under 11 time of the day clocking 12.50secs, two tenths faster than Yasmine Shepherd with quickest boy Tom Court back in 3rd (13.00secs).  Court produced a splendid effort in the 600m with 2nd and a 2mins 17.3secs clocking, 10secs in advance of his previous best.  Court was pipped at the post by trialist Edward Styles, who emulated his elder brother by taking the 600m (2mins 16.9secs).

One of the best performances on the day was from Finlay Haynes in the under 11 vortex competition.  Haynes produced an extraordinary throw of 26.83m to win the competition by over 10 metres.  Leading girl competitor was Tabitha Bosley, who in her first competition threw 16.25m.  She enjoyed a good all-round competition with a promising run in the 600m (2mins 19.3secs) where she was 2nd leading girl beind Isla Wooding (2mins 17.6secs) as well as placing well in the 100m and Long Jump.

There was a double first for under 9 trialist Sam Naidu-Johnson as he produced wins in the under 9 75m and long jump with 13.20secs and 3.10m respectively.  Trialist Cameron Waters produced an impressive throw in the vortex with a winning mark of 19.95m and there were three second places for Annabel Smith in the vortex (15.59m), 75m (13.3secs) and 600m (2mins 35.6secs).  And Cyrus Ariana was the clear winner of the 600m finishing 10secs ahead of his nearest pursuer in 2mins 25.4secs.


Written by N Dolden.