There was an outstanding team performance from the Bicester AC under 13 girls in the second round of the Oxford Mail Cross Country League held at Harcourt Hill on Sunday 7th December.  The team was spearheaded by Amy Gould, who celebrated her call up for the Oxfordshire County Team in next weekend’s Inter County Championships (Horspath).  Gould was an excellent 2nd of the 55 strong field, clocking 8mins 22secs for the 2000 metre course, which has moved her to 2nd equal in the overall standings.  She was well supported by Holly Griffiths Brown, who produced her finest effort over the country to date, to finish 6th in 8mins 31secs.  The A team scorers was completed by Molly Acton who placed 15th in her inaugural cross country run of the season. And this was good enough to propel the A team into 2nd place after two races.  There were further good runs down the field with Maisie Silvester 19th, Freya Smith 27th, Holly Hunter 29th, Beth Hipwell 31st, Lucy Stowell 36th, Amber Pittuck 37th, Lauren Garside 40th and Ebony-Rose Lennon making her debut in 42nd place.

There was further good news in the under 11 boy’s race as Freddie Taylor produced his first podium finish by placing 3rd leaving him in 4th place in the overall standings after two races.  Ellis Griffiths – Brown made it into the top 10 for the first ever time placing 8th and he was followed home by James Rendell in 13th.    Michael Cadle produced one of his finest cross country efforts for 14th whilst relative newcomer Nicholas Gilbert made giant strides to improve 16 places on his first effort to place 21st.   Debutant Thomas Pringle was 23rd and Joseph Nugent completed the Bicester scorers in 35th.

In the under 11 girls race, Millie Couzens was not quite able to match the standard of her first round effort but still finished a strong 5th out of 58 runners.  She was very well supported by one of the big improvers of the day Lucy Watts who nudged into the top ten with 10th place.  Consistent Amelia Cox again placed 12th  and Georgia Usher moved up four places from the first round for 19th.  Other Bicester finishers included Emelia Sims 20th, Ava Neptune 35th and Ruby Silvester 52nd.

Tom Couzens also selected for Oxfordshire next week produced one of his best ever cross country runs for 8th place over the 2000 metre course (7mins 55secs).  Billy England was also in fantastic form taking 13th in 8mins 28secs and William Sims closed the team scorers in 25th place (9mins 2secs) for 3rd team place on the day.  Samuel Worfolk, Bicester’s other runner, placed 33rd in 9mins 34secs.

Bicester had 5 runners in the under 9 race which was run as a combined race.  There was a preponderance of girls in the race but it was Harry Rendell who led the Bicester contingent home in 5th.  Imogen Cox was 15th and 2nd girl and she was chased home by Bella Couzens (17th) and Anna Couzens (19th).  The Bicester scorers were completed by debutant Isla Bohannon who placed 37th.

It was the older age groups where Bicester struggled to field the quantity but ever dependable Tom Gould recorded one of his highest ever cross country finishes for 13th place clocking 16mins 51secs in the under15/17 race.  Harry Sturgess was Bicester’s other finisher in 29th.  Tara Gowens made a big improvement on her first run to place 20th in the under15/17 girl’s race (13mins 29secs), one of Bicester’s highest finishes in this age group for some time.  She was supported by Libbie Nicklin in 46th (16mins 8secs)