There were a host of handy performances by Bicester athletes as they combined with Banbury Harriers to win the first U20/U17 UK Youth Development League match staged at Banbury on Sunday 28th April.

The Youth Development League has an U20 A and B string race plus an U17 race and athletes who are U17 can compete in the U20 events, so we saw our atheltes putting in great performances competing against others sometimes 3 years older than them.

Jess Cherry made an outstanding improvement in the discuss as she threw a massive personal best to take the U17 event with a throw of 25 metres. Cherry also backed this up with good efforts in her specialist events as she won the U20 B string of the triple jump with 9.54 metres but saved the best for the U17 shot putt where she placed 2nd with 8.05 metres breaking the club record which has stood since 1996.

Emily Benfield had a busy afternoon placing 3rd in the U17 100 metres in 13.8secs, 2nd in the U20 B string 200 metres in 29.9secs and winning the U20 B string long jump with 4.41 metres.

Lito Michaelidou also performed well in the U17 triple jump placing 2nd with a new personal best leap of 9.14 metres. She also finished 6th in the U17 200 metres in 29.8secs.

It was another fantastic day for U17 Nerissa Starrett who added to her high jump exploits of the previous week with another solid day’s work. This time it was the U17 long jump where she excelled, not only winning the long jump, but taking it with a personal best 4.61 metres which was longer than any Bicester female had managed in 2012.

It was good to see Mark Smith back in action after last years injuries and he did not disappoint as he ran a classy race to take 2nd in the U20 B string 400 metres in 57.2secs. He was also in fine form in U20 B string triple jump, an event he rarely competes in, winning with a leap of 10.47 metres.