Bicester AC had two athletes selected to represent Oxfordshire in the ESAA English Schools Regional Combined Events – Midlands held in Mansfield last weekend.  Making his debut at a combined event Erlgean Appiahkorang-Mensah finished a superb 2nd out of the 13 competing athletes with a final total of 2,479 points which was just 55 points behind the winning score.  This means that he qualifies for the National English Schools Combined event in Stoke to be held in September.  His points tally represented an EA PB level 8 performance with level 9 the highest standard that an athlete can be achieved  

Appiahkorang-Mensah competed in the under 15 boy’s pentathlon which comprises 5 events covering the 80m hurdles, shot putt, long jump, high jump and 800m.  All events were contested on the Saturday.   

Appiahkorang-Mensah started the day with a superb 12.8secs clocking in the 80m hurdles which was the fastest time of the day and was an EA PB level 6 performance in its own right.  Appiahkorang-Mensah’s progress in the hurdles was all the more creditworthy given that he had never ran in a competitive hurdle event before the start of this season.  He then followed this up with an 8.77m putt in the shot, which was near to his best, but this dropped him down to overall 4th after two events.

Appiahkorang-Mensah was back on track in the 3rd event with a superb new best of 5.36m in the long jump which was the 2nd longest jump on the day and was an EA PB level 7 leap.  This moved him back up to 2nd but he was now over 200 points behind the leader.  His next event was the high jump, which he had only ever competed in once, before the start of this season.  He produced another superb best of 1.50m which was the equal  3rd highest in the competition and an EA PB level 6 mark.  This still left him in 2nd place with one event remaining but he now trailed the leader by nearly 300 points.

A superb effort in his specialist event the 800m cut into the leader’s lead and whilst his time of 2mins 9.9secs was nearly 4 seconds behind his best, it was still an EA PB level 6 time and was only 0.2 seconds behind the fastest time of the day.  Appiahkorang-Mensah’s final tally of 2,479 points is one of the highest ever achieved by an Oxfordshire under 15 boy athlete.

Kyle Rayson was Bicester AC’s other competitor and was part of a strong Oxfordshire team in the under 17 men’s octathlon with Oxfordshire taking 2nd place in the team competition. Rayson equipped himself well in the competition finishing 8th in the 18 strong field with a final points haul of 3,403 points which beat his previous best points total for an octathlon. The octathlon comprises 8 events which includes the long jump, discus, javelin throw, 400m, 100mH, high jump, shot putt and 1,500 metres.  The event extended over the two days of the weekend.  Rayson set three new bests in the discus (22.70m), the 400m (57.30secs) and the 1,500m (5m 29.8secs).  He narrowly missed matching his best in the long jump with EA level 5 leap of 5.65m in the long jump.  Rayson’s other efforts included 20.84m in the javelin, 15.7secs in the 100m hurdles, 1.56m in the high jump and 9.10m in the shot putt.