Bicester AC ended the winter cross country season in fine style as four of their number scooped end of season awards at the final leg of the Oxford Mail Cross Country League staged at Harwell on Sunday 1st March. Awards were given to athletes who finished 3rd or better in the overall standings of their respective age groups. Bicester had at least one top 10 finisher in each of the 6 younger age categories. There was another clutch of splendid results on the final day of cross country action on the predominantly flat terrain of Harwell.
Pride of place went to Amy Gould, who cemented her victory in the previous round with another top three finish, as she finished 3rd in the under 13 girl’s race, clocking 8mins 33secs for the 2000 metre course. This was good enough to move her up to first place in the final overall standings and thus carrying on Bicester’s fine tradition in this age group. As has been customary throughout the season, she was supported by another fine team performance by the other Bicester AC under 13 girls, which enabled them to take the silver medal in the team final overall standings. Holly Griffiths – Brown, in her first full cross country season, finished 6th in 8mins 39secs, the closest she has got to Gould all season for 7th overall in the final standings. And Molly Acton saved her best form for the last race as she placed 12th in 9mins 1secs. Other Bicester finishers in this age group were Maisie Silvester 29th, Lauren Garside 32nd, Freya Smith 33rd, Lucy Stowell 34th, Kate Ford 39th and Holly Hunter 47th.
Freddie Taylor has been a model of consistency all winter and was again 3rd in the under 11 boy’s race, clocking 5mins 25secs for the 1200 metre course, which enabled him to take 3rd place in the overall standings. Michael Cadle again performed well for 16th place (5mins 55secs) with Bicester’s other finishers in this age group Thomas Pringle (26th), Finn Graham (36th) and Ben Groves (38th).
Amelia Cox produce d one of her best ever runs in the under 11 girl’s event as she took 3rd place in the under 11 girl’s race (5mins 30 secs), which was also run over 1200 metres. This moved her up to 7th place in the overall standings. This was her first cross country victory over fellow clubmate Mille Couzens who had to be content with 5th place on the day (5mins 33secs), but earlier efforts placed her 3rd overall in the final standings. Georgina Usher had her best run of the winter in 11th place in her first season in this age category. Other Bicester finishers in this age group included Emelia Sims 22nd, Ava Neptune 29th and Ruby Silvester 44th.
The Bicester AC under 9’s have performed with great credit throughout the season but it was newcomer Elliot Hayes who stole the plaudits in race 5 as he finished 6th. Imogen Cox was 9th which was good enough for the overall silver. Harry Rendell ran a little below his earlier efforts but still finished 11th which kept him in 5th overall. Other Bicester finishers were Bella Couzens (21st) and Anna Couzens (28th). Tom Couzens maintained his position as Bicester leading man in the under 13 male category placing 9th over the 2000 metre course clocking 8mins 6 secs which was good enough for 6th overall in the final standings. Billy England produced his best effort of the season as he chased Couzens home in 12th place, 25 seconds behind Cozens, whilst other Bicester finishers in this age group included William Sims (24th) and Samuel Worfolk (30th).
In the older age groups there was an outstanding performance from ever improving Tara Groves who was an excellent 12th in the under 15/17 girls race clocking 15mins 4 secs for the 3,500 metre course. She was supported by Libbie Nicklin (43rd) and Bethany Liversidge (44th) And Harry Sturgess carried the flag for Bicester in the equivalent age group for boys placing 21st.