Last Sunday 1st December 40 Bicester AC runners made the trip to Culham for round 2 of the Oxford Mail League Cross Country. There was a change of course for this year’s races with the terrain more generous than previous years. Once again under 13 girl Sophie Wheeler was the star as she just failed to add to her victory in race 1 but still managed a magnificent 2nd place over the 2000 metre course clocking 8mins 28 secs in the process. This performance enabled Wheeler to cling to her overall lead in her age category whilst spearheading another superb team effort as Bicester under 13 girl’s team remained in 2nd place after two events. There was another top 10 finish for Holly Griffiths Brown in 10th place and timed at 8mins 47secs. Once again Amy Gould performed well for 14th position (9mins 7secs) and there was good improvement from Molly Acton as she recorded her first top 20 finish of the winter placing 20th in 9mins 28secs. Other Bicester under 13 girl finishers included Maisie Silvester (31st), Lucy Stowell (46th), Kerry Hickman (47th), Erin Higginbottom (48th), Holly Hunter (53rd), Daisy Newton (58th) and Molly Nudget (64th).

The under 9 races are a new concept for the Oxon Mail League and if the initial results are anything to go by this is going to be a successful age category over the winter for Bicester AC. For the 2nd successive race Georgia Usher was first girl home placing 10th overall in the combined race. Michael Cadle ran another creditable race to place 6th in the combined race. Other Bicester places included Ben Groves (18th), Joseph Nugent (26th), Rosie Newton (33rd), Erin McWhinnie (47th) Ruby Silvester (51st), Erin Disbrey (54t) and Bethan Workman (58th).

There was a stronger boy’s team out on this occasion and Tom Gould maintained his 4th overall position in the under 15 category as he produced another fine effort to finish 16th in the under 15/17 race clocking 18mins 41secs. He was followed quite closely by Dan Heiyink (21st in 19mins 4secs) with Owen Cox completing the team scores in 29th place (20mins 26secs). The team remained in overall 4th place.

Freddie Taylor was very much Bicester’s best finisher in the under 11 boys race as he improved three places over his frst race effort to place 7th. He was again well supported by Ellis Griffith Brown (26th) but the big improver in this category was Samuel Worfolk who went up 6 places to finish 27th, three places ahead of Bicester’s other finisher James Rendell.

There were two notable seasonal Bicester debutants in the under 13 boy’s race. One of Bicester’s best male runners from last winter ran a race of huge promise. In his first race in this category Tom Couzens clocked a fine 8mins 37secs for 12th place over the 2000 metre course. Lucas Davis was also having his seasonal bow and he too ran a hugely promising race to place 16th (8mins 50secs). Billy England captured something like his old form to be 20th some 9 places in advance of Bicester’s other finisher William Sims.