Bicester AC’s athletes were in fine form in the latest round of the Chiltern Cross Country League held last Saturday at Teardrop Lakes Milton Keynes.  Nine Bicester athletes managed to finish in the top half of finishers in this very competitive league competition.  The very much in form Leo Blyton was again competitive in the under 13 boy’s event contested over 3.1km.  Blyton was always at the front end of the field picking up places in the closing stages to finish a superb 4th in the 79 strong field combining division 1 and division 2 runners.  He clocked 11mins 34secs, 31 secs behind the winner and two places better than his round 1 effort.  Blyton was also 2nd in the division 2 race just 15 secs off the leading runner. 

There was a strong Bicester team of four in the men’s under 17 race out of the 60 finishers in the mob race.  Owen Stocker occupied a prominent position moving up to a strong 7th in the early stages and this was a position he held on to at the finish in what was a very competitive race.  His finishing time of 20mins 48secs for the 5.9km circuit was just 48 secs off the winning time.  Stocker’s 7th represented an improvement of three places over his first round effort and was his equal highest ever placing in a Chiltern League event.  He was also the 4th fastest division 2 runner.

Noah Gulvin started strongly but gradually lost places during the race but still held on for a top half finish in 30th (22mins 41secs).  Joshua Moran ran a well controlled race in 31st (22mins 45secs) with twin brother Isacc not far behind in 34th (23mind 17secs).  In a closely fought team competition Bicester were 3rd just 2 points off runner up spot but maintained their 2nd place in the team standings after two events.

There was an improved effort from Anna Jolliffe in the under 17/20 women’s race.  Jolliffe finished 13th in the 54 strong field clocking 21mins 13secs for the 5km course.  Jolliffe was also 5th division 2 finisher, an improvement of three places on race 1.  Zach O Regan made a promising start to the cross country season in the under 11 boy’s race run over 1.85km.  Starting steadily O Regan improved his position as the race progressed eventually finishing 17th (7mins 55secs) out of 70 finishers.  Olivia Maxwell was Bicester’s sole representative in the under 11 girl’s event run over the same distance.  Making her Chiltern League debut Maxwell started steadily but made stealthy progress through the race to finish a very good 23rd (8mins 46secs) in the 53 strong field confirming the promise that she had shown the previous week at Cornbury.

Kate O Malley has made a strong start to this cross country season and she again performed superbly to finish 24th in the under 15 girl’s race in the 64 strong field.  O Malley ran 19mins 25secs for the 4.4km course.  O Malley was also 4th division 2 finisher.  Lily Spencer, in her first ever cross country race plugged on gamely to finish 63rd in 27mins 55secs.  Leanne Stocker has started the season in good style and she again finished in the top half of finishers in 101st out of 252 finishers in the senior lady mob race clocking 29mins 11secs for the 5.9km course.  Stocker was also 14th finisher in the division 2 race.   Emily Benfield did well to beat 57 runners to place 195th (34mins 37secs).

Erlgean Appiahkorang-Mensah improved on his Oxfordshire League run of the previous week to finish 33rd in the under 15 boy’s event in the 67 strong field clocking 17mins 30secs for the 4.4km distance.  Although under the weather Thomas Perry did well to finish 65th (21mins 37secs).  Bicester was able to field the maximum number of team runners in the under 13 girl’s race contested over 3.1km.  Megan Surman was having only her 2nd ever competitive cross country race in Bicester colours and equipped herself well in her first Chiltern League event finishing 48th out of the 75 finishers clocking 15mins 32secs for the 3.1km course.  Maya Korn was less than a minute adrift in 60th (16mins 22secs) with the Bicester team scorers completed by Emelie Stocker who was 70th (18mins 30secs).