Bicester AC hosted the first Oxfordshire Cross Country League event held last Sunday at Bicester Heritage Centre.  With no venue confirmed a month ago, Bicester AC stepped in and did exceptionally well to organise the event at such short notice and given they were already committed to co-hosting another event in the series.  Bicester also had a monster turnout of runners, with some 46 finishers spread over 7 events.

Elsie Jacobs produced a superb winning performance in the under 11 girl’s race run over 1,520 metres.  She had a winning margin of 6 secs at the line clocking 5mins 20secs for her first ever Bicester AC cross country win and a big improvement on her overall 12th place in last year’s standings.  Jacobs beat 53 other runners with Abigail Jones second home for Bicester in 5mins 55secs, Jones’s best ever cross country placing and confirming the promise shown in her previous run.  And Ella Myers- Finnegan, in her first ever run for the club and in her first year in the age group, produced a very promising effort for 11th place (6mins 01secs).  There were further good runs from cross country debutant Scarlett Lambert (19th in 6mins 10secs) and Isla Wooding (21st in 6mins 12secs).  Amber Busby was 26th (6mins 21secs) and Molly Campbell in her debut cross country race was 29th (6mins 28secs).  Other Bicester finishers included Eloise LeMonnier Pres (37th), Maya Evans (43rd) and Charlotte Hornby (46th).

Owen Stocker produced bis first ever top three Bicester AC finish placing a magnificent 3rd in the under 13 boy’s race run over 2,520 metres.  Stocker’s time of 8mins 28secs was 10secs down on the winning performance.  Robert Charlton (35th) and Thomas Auty (49th) completed the Bicester finishers with the team placing 10th.

Jago Newton finished a superb 4th in the under 11 boy’s race which was also run over 1,520 metres.  Competing in his first year in a new age group Newton clocked 5mins 19secs.  William Morris produced a very good debut run for the club in 11th (5mins 33secs).  Lewis Harris also made the top half in 26th place (5mins 48secs).  Bicester’s other finishers were George Hart (29th), George Mansell (31st), Henry Unger (46th), Simon Cheeseman (48th) and Aston McAndrew-Uren (53rd).

Lucy McGrath and Anna Jolliffe produced superb runs in the under 15/17 lady’s race despite racing against some girls who up to three years older.  Lucy McGrath left the form of her previous run behind as she finished a magnificent 8th clocking 13mins 50secs for the 3,580 metre course.  Anna Jolliffe was not far behind in 10th (13mins 59secs).  The team finishers were completed by Isabella Couzens, who was 36th in 15mins 56secs), with the team placing 6th.  Sky Armstrong made her debut for the club and placing 43rd (18mins 39secs).

Bicester had enough runners for three teams in the under 15/17 men’s race with Hugo Jinks leading the team in 10th place clocking 16mins 31secs for the 4,860 metres distance.  Less than a minute separated the first 15 finishers with Bicester’s next finisher Edward Jolliffe in 12th place (16mins 33secs), one of his best ever cross-country performances.  The team finishers were completed by Oliver Conway in 23rd place (17mins 30secs) and actually the 6th under 15 finisher.  The team finished in 5th place.  Other Bicester finishers were Jamie Conway (31st), Samuel Worfolk (32nd) Michael Cadle (43rd), Romi Edwards (49th), Timothy Jones (50th) and Ben Groves (51st).

Bicester had 9 runners in the mixed under 9 race run over 1.220 metres.  Several were making their club debuts including Bicester’s first finisher Naragon Bhambra who was 23rd.  Next in were Tom Court who was 26th and Zachary Evans (28th).  Bicester’s Sophie Harris finished in 29th place and was also 4th girl finisher.  Other Bicester finishers were Jonathon Morris (33rd), Charlotte Darke (38th), Finlay Haynes (42nd), Emelie Stocker (43rd) and Alexa Brady (46th).  

Just three competed for Bicester in the under 13 girl’s run over 2,520 metres with Bethany Wetton producing a creditable effort for 34th place (10mins 38secs) in her first year in the age group.  Other Bicester team placers were Megan Myers- Finnegan (59th) and Helena Norton (63rd).

Written by N Dolden.