The combined Bicester AC / Banbury Harriers team came out on top in the final round of their UK Youth Development League (U15/U13) match held last Saturday 13th July at Banbury. Although the team found victories hard to come by, this was truly a team effort in sweltering heat with athletes competing in unfamiliar events in order to gain valuable points.

As an U11 there were few more promising athletes than Annie Jankowiak however injuries have not been kind to her in recent years but her performances in the U15 Girls events on Saturday represented something of a renaissance in form. She recorded a trio of personal bests most notably in the 800 metres, where she was a splendid 4th in the B event (2m 37.9 secs) as well as the Javelin (17.40 metres) and Shot Putt (7.32 metres).

At the start of the season Jake Cherry was barely throwing beyond 20 metres in the javelin but on Saturday his life time best throw of 32.29 metres was good enough for 3rd in the A string U15 Boys event. Holly Griffiths Brown is one of the most promising middle distance girl athletes ever to come out of Bicester and she again lowered her best in the U13 Girls 800 metres placing 5th in A string with 2mins 39.7secs.

Ffion Phillips had one of her best athletic days of the season so far clocking 14.4 secs in the U15 Girls B 100 metres as well as 3.96 metres in the long jump. Tom Couzens remains one of Bicesters most consistent U13 Boys performers and he placed 5th in the A 200 metres (30.1secs) as well as 2nd in the B long jump (3.78metres). Connor Wilce produced a brace of solid performances in the U15 Boys long jump and shot putt placing 3rd in both of the A strings with 4.93 metres and 8.83 metres respectively.

Jonty Renk was very close to his best in the U15 Boys 1500 metres placing 5th in the A string with 5mins 8.4secs. Fergus Jones also performed bravely in the heat for 2nd in the B string U13 Boys 1500 metres (5mins 45.4secs). William Simms had a busy afternoon as he took part in 3 individual events including a 7th place in the A string U13 Boys 800 metres clocking 3mins 3.8secs. Rhiannon Penfold’s efforts in the U15 Girls included a 12.22 metres throw in the discus whilst Amy Gould ran bravely for 4th in the B string U13 Girls 1200 metres (4mins 52.7secs) as well placing 5th in the B shot (13.19m).

Orlaith Lyford was 5th in the U13 Girls B string 150 metres (23.5secs) and Lucy Stowell’s efforts for the U13 Girls included a 2nd place in the B javelin (13.19m). Holly Hunter gained valuable points in the U13 Girls 75 metres hurdles (16secs) as did Jess Stowell in her two U15 Girls events which included a 3rd in the B string javelin (12.34m).