Six Bicester AC athletes were selected to compete for Oxfordshire at last weekend’s English School’s Cross Country Championships held in Sefton Park. The age groups are not an exact match with UK athletic age bands with, in simplistic terms, the junior girls encompassing the upper end of the under age 13 and the lower end of the under 15 age group. This meant that the under 15 girls in this age category were running over a much shorter distance than the previous weekend’s UK Athletics inter county event.
Anna Jolliffe was one of Bicester AC girls selected to run for their counties in the junior girl race. She finished an excellent 82nd out of the 344 finishers, timed at 12mins 15secs for the 3,000 metre course, and was second scorer for the Oxfordshire School’s team that finished 24th. This was an improvement of nearly 160 places on her corresponding effort in 2019. Jenny Critchley, competing for Northants Schools did well to finish 190th (12mins 47secs) and was 4th scorer for her county. And Lucy McGrath also made the scoring Oxfordshire team finishing in 223rd place (12mins 51secs).
Two Bicester athletes competed in the intermediate boy’s race run over a 5,500 metre course and there was another fine run from Oliver Conway who was 201st out of the 328 finishers (20mins 47secs) and was part of the Oxfordshire scoring team that finished a fine 12th out of the 43 competing teams. Due to an administrative issue Edward Jolliffe had to start at the back of the field and congestion on the first lap made overtaking difficult. However, he made good progress on lap 2 to recover lost places eventually finishing in 232nd place (21mins 04secs). And Owen Stocker also competed for Oxfordshire finishing 328th in the junior boy’s race clocking 18mins 19secs for the 4,400 metre course.
Written by N Dolden