Twelve Bicester AC athletes took part in last weekend’s premier English cross country event, the English National Cross Country Championships, staged at Parliament Hill Fields on Saturday 21st February.  Runners representing clubs from all over England compete in this annual event with over 2000 competing in the senior men’s race.  Parliament Hills is traditionally one of the toughest venues on the cross country circuit and last weekend was no exception with runners competing in knee hock mud.

Ever improving Amy Gould produced another fantastic effort in the under 13 girl’s race.  Gould placed a magnificent 149th in the 400 strong field clocking 14mins 46secs.  She was the leading Oxfordshire finisher in this event and led the Bicester team into 46th place, one of only two Oxfordshire clubs to complete teams in this age group.  Holly Griffiths- Brown has enjoyed her best cross country season and she warmed up for an assault on the 800 metres this summer with another fine effort to place 313th in 16mins 7 secs.  Molly Acton was a creditable 361st (16mins 47secs) and the team scorers were completed by Maisie Silvester who placed 387th in 17mins 30secs.  Ebony Rose Lennon also competed for Bicester AC in this event and she finished 432nd in 20mins 57secs.

Most of the Bicester under boy’s 13 team were competing and they were led home by the season’s star performer Tom Couzens who placed 311th in 15mins 29secs.  Billy England followed him home in 365th place (16mins 47secs) and the Bicester team was completed by Samuel Worfolk who ran bravely for 391st (18mins 23secs).

Invaluable experience was gained by 4 other Bicester athletes in their respective age groups.  Once again Tom Gould equipped himself well in the under 17 age group as he had several athletes behind in finishing 211th in 25mins 48secs.  Bicester has two athletes in the under 15 boy’s race and Fergus Jones made a welcome return in Bicester colours to place a very respectable 258th in 19mins 28secs.  Harry Sturgess showed plenty of fortitude to place 368th in 25mins 11secs in the same race.  And Libby Nicklin ran a  brave race to place 378th in the under 15 girl’s event clocking 24mins 57secs.