The final round of the Oxfordshire Cross Country League took place last Sunday at Henley.  There was a good turnout of Bicester runners who braved the quite blustery conditions.

Elsie Jacobs has enjoyed a fine Winter season with individual race wins in both the Oxfordshire and Chiltern League Cross Country and she took 4th place in the under 11 girl’s race clocking 6mins 15secs for the 1,520 metre course.  Efforts in her previous races were enough to secure 2nd spot in the final league standings which was her second cross country league award of the season.  Several of Bicester’s other under 11 girls have performed well this winter, with two other girls making the top ten final standings.  Ella Myers-Finnegan again performed well for 8th (6mins 53secs), and 8th in the final standings, with Abigail Jones 10 seconds further back in 11th place (9th in the final standings).  Isla Wooding completed only her 2nd cross country race of the season finishing in an improved 13th (7mins 11secs) with Amber Busby 18 seconds further back in 19th place.  Bicester’s other placings were Maya Evans in 31st (7mins 51secs) and Eloise LeMonnier – Press in 39th (8mins 36secs).    

Bicester’s highest placer on the day was Anna Jolliffe who ran a superb race for 3rd in the under 15/17 girl’s race.  Jolliffe found herself up against the reigning under 15 girl’s English Cross Country Champion (Kiya Dee).  Running strongly from the outset Jolliffe clocked 15mins 45secs for the 3,580 metre distance.  Jenny Critchley put in another round of solid running for 14th (17mins 23secs) and team finishers were completed by Imogen Cox in 23rd (19mins 14secs).  The team were Bicester’s highest placed team in the final standings finishing 3rd.  

The under 15/17 boy’s race, which was a smidgeon over 3 miles in distance, was a hot affair.  Bicester’s Hugo Jinks was just over a minute behind the winner finishing 6th in 18mins 43secs.  His improved form in 2020 earned him the 3rd place award in the under 17 boy’s category final standings pipping clubmate Edward Jolliffe in the process.  The latter rounded off what has been a good Oxfordshire League campaign in 10th (19mins 26secs).  Samuel Worfolk completed the team scorers with 17th (20mins 41secs) with the team finishing in 2nd place on the day and 4th in the final standings.  Finley Colverson-Martin, in only his second cross country run, put in an improved effort for 22nd position (20mins 55secs) with Bicester’s other finishers Michael Cadle 28th (22mins 09secs) and Ben Groves 36th (24mins 55secs).    

Probably the unluckiest Bicester runner of the season was Owen Stocker who was 3rd in the overall under 13 boy’s standings coming into the final race. However, Stocker has not been able to find his best form since competing with one shoe in race 4 and on Sunday he finished 12th clocking 10mins 36secs for the 2,520 metre circuit and placing 4th in the final standings.  He was followed home on the day by Robert Charlton (24th in 11mins 12secs) with Stanley Critchley 39th (20mins 40secs).

Jago Newton has enjoyed a fine first season in the under 11 boy’s category and he achieved his 4th top ten finish of the season for 7th place clocking 6mins 16secs for the 1,520m circuit which earned him 7th place in the final standings.  George Hart produced an extraordinary improvement on his previous league efforts for 12th (6mins 31secs).  Lewie Harris also produced his best placing of the season in 17th (6mins 34secs) with George Mansell in 21st (6mins 40secs).

The other Bicester AC athlete to collect an individual award was Sophie Lewis who finished 3rd in the final under 9 girl standings.  Under 9 boys and girls compete in the same race and Tom Court was Bicester’s leading runner on Sunday in 18th.  Lewis was 21st followed in by Phoebe Smith who was making her debut and ran well for 29th.  Bicester’s other placers were Cyrus Ariana (36th) Zachary Evans (38th), Finlay Haynes (39th) and Emelie Stocker (48th).

There were just two Bicester girls competing in the under 13 girl’s event held over 2,520 metres.  Bethany Wetton was Bicester’s first finisher in 36th (13mins 45secs) ahead of Megan Myers-Finnegan who was 41st (14mins 42secs).  And vet 45 male Arran Crtichley took on the senior men’s race, held over a distance of 9,120m, and finished strongly for 209th place clocking 55mins 52secs.

Written by N Dolden