Bicester AC enjoyed their best results of the winter season so far at the Oxford Mail Cross Country League event held at Culham on Sunday 4th January.  As is customary with the third round the event was held in conjunction with the Oxfordshire Cross Country Championships which was the main selection event held for the forthcoming inter county championships to be held in Birmingham.

Bicester have some very talented young girl distance runners and not for the first time this season Amy Gould showed the way in the under 13 girl’s event by finishing an excellent 2nd over the 2000 metre course clocking 10mins 12 secs.  This was good enough for silver medal in the County event and won her another Oxfordshire County vest for the Birmingham race.  It also keeps her in a strong 2nd place in the overall League standings.  There was further joy for Bicester in the under 13 girl’s event as Holly Griffiths Brown performed well again for 7th place (10mins 37secs) and she earned her first ever county cross country vest.  With Molly Acton placing 17th the team continue to perform strongly in the overall standings holding a very strong 2nd place.  Other Bicester finishers in the under 13 age group included Maisie Silvester (23rd), Freya Smith (27th), Beth Hipwell (33rd), Lauren Garside (41st), Holly Hunter (43rd) and Lucy Stowell (44th).

Freddie Taylor continues to knock on the door in the under 11 boy’s event and he recorded his highest ever finish placing 2nd over the 1200 metre course just 3 seconds down on  first place.  This was good enough to move up to 2nd equal in the overall standings.  Ellis Griffiths Brown continues to perform strongly and he placed 12th which was good enough to keep him in the top ten in the overall standings.  There was an outstanding debut run from Edward Joliffe in 15th place.  Other Bicester finishers in this race were James Rendell (18th), Michael Cadle (23rd), Nicholas Gilbert (32nd) and Ben Groves (46th).

There was joy for Bicester AC in the under 9 county race as Imogen Cox struck gold and continues to be the dominant girl in this age group in the Oxford Mail League standings.  As the under 9 race is run as a combined race, Cox also recorded her highest place in the combined race placing 6th.  Harry Rendell ran another fine race in the boy’s race placing 5th.  Other under 9 finishers included Anna Couzens (21st), Hollie Offord (34th), Bethan Workman (35th) and Isla Bohannon (38th).

There was selection joy at last for Tom Gould in the under 17 race as his 12 place in the combined under15/17 race earned him his first ever cross country county vest for Birmingham.  Also competing in this race for Bicester was Harry Sturgess (24th).

Bicester featured very strongly in the under 11 girl’s event as 5 of the 7 strong team finished in the top third.  Millie Couzens again led the team home in 6th place, which keeps her in the top three in the overall standings.  There was an outstanding improvement from Amelia Cox who finished just one place behind Couzens in 7th.  Georgia Usher recorder her highest finish of the winter so far placing 14th whilst Lucy Watts (15th) and Emelia Sims(19th) also placed in the top 20.  Other Bicester finishers included Ava Neptune (39th) and Ruby Silvester (58th).

Tom Couzens was again the leading boy in the under 13 race as he placed 9th in 10mins 17secs.  William Sims produced a solid effort to place 19th ahead of the much improved Samuel Worfolk (23rd) and the slightly below par Billy England (24th).  There were also 2 finishers in the under 15/17 girl’s race with Libbie Nicklin (38th) and Bethany Liversidge (42nd).