There was a strong turnout of Bicester AC athletes for last Sunday’s first round of the Oxfordshire Junior League fixture held at Horspath.  There was a mixture of track and field debutants, national grade performances and personal bests.  Several of the athletes were competing in their second track and field meet of the weekend.

Erlgean Appiakhorang-Mensah was one of the Bicester contingent making his track and field debut and performed strongly in the four events that he competed in.  During the Winter season Mensah has hinted at potential in middle distance track races and it came together superbly for him on Sunday as he swept to victory in a competitive boy’s under 13 800 metres with a national graded time of 2mins 32.8secs.  He then showed his versatility by winning the shot with a putt of 6.24m.  Mensah also competed in the long jump and sprint relay.

Another of Bicester athletes to excel on her track and field debut was Naomi Ejiogu.  Although running the B string in the under 15 girl’s 100 metres, Ejiogu produced the fastest time of the day with a national graded time of 12.5secs.  Ejiogu then turned her hand to the shot with a winning putt of 7.57m.  Ejiogu also won the B long jump with a leap of 3.94m as well contributing to a leg of the under 15 girl’s sprint relay.

One of the strongest Bicester teams on the day was the under 13 girl’s team.  Yasmine Sheppard, Grace Jarvey, Amber Busby and Isla Wooding combined superbly to win a very competitive under 13 girl’s sprint relay in a superb 59.2secs clocking.  All of the quartet also contributed significant performances as individuals.  Isla Wooding knocked a metre off her previous best to take 2nd in the long jump (3.57m) as well producing a new best in the shot to take 3rd (5.24m).  Amber Busby was competing in her second event of the weekend and ran superbly to take 2nd in a competitive 800m (2m49.2s) and also gained good points for the club in the shot and discus.  Grace Jarvey was also in her 2nd event of the weekend producing new bests in the 200m (30.9s) and high jump (1.10m).   And Yasmine Sheppard was also in personal best form in the 200m with a 31.3s clocking.

Tabitha Bosley ran superbly to take 3rd place in the under 13 girl’s 1500m with a new best clocking of 5mins 29.4secs which was 26secs faster than her previous best and also a national graded time.  Bosley also produced a superb throw in the javelin to take 2nd spot with 14.76m.  Joely Donaldson made her Biceser track and field debut contributing points in the 100m and discus where she threw well (8.85m). And  Amaya Lewis followed up her recent debut at the Oxfordshire Open with 5th in the 100m (16.0secs).

Lincoln Jones and Kyle McLeod both produced excellent efforts in the sprints, even though they are towards the junior end of the under 15 age group.  Jones was competing in his second event of the weekend and sprinted well in the 100m (13.4s), 200m (27.5s) and in particular the 300m, where he won a close fought battle for 2nd place (42.3secs).  McLeod won the B string of both sprints producing bests for both events clocking 13.5secs in the 100m and 27.2secs in the 200m as well making his debut in the high jump.  Stanley Critchley was competing in his second event of the weekend and returned another good effort in the shot and William Morris contributed good points in the 1500m and long jump, events he was making his debut in.

Bicester had plenty of competitors in the quad competition.  Lara Chisholm was a superb overall 2nd in the under 11 girls event out of the 37 competitors.  She performed well over the four events that make up the quod competition producing the best howler throw of the competition with a 22.1m throw.  Lily Childs also placed well in overall 7th whilst Emilia Lennon also competed for Bicester finishing 25th.  Bicester had a winner in the under 9 boy’s competition with Barnaby Bosley taking the honours.  Like Chisholm, Bosley’s win was based on a good level of performance over each of the four events.  Brendan Kelly also competed for Bicester and finished 10th.

Georgia Bower started the season in fine style with strong performances in the 100 metres, long jump and discus.  Bower finished 3rd in the under 15 girl’s 100m, where her clocking of 14secs was a tenth of a second inside her previous best.  She was also in personal best form in the long jump where she finished 2nd in the A event where her best leap of 4.09m was over a metre ahead of her previous best.  She was also 2nd in the discus (13.61m).  Bicester’s other under 15 girl’s team included Abigail Jones, who picked up good points in the 1500 metres with a new best of 6mins 4.5secs and javelin and Lily Beaugrand who made a welcome return to action in the 200m and 75m hurdles. 

Finlay Haynes made a very good debut in the under 13 boy’s javelin, despite being towards the junior end of the age group, as he took 3rd place with a very promising throw of 17.8m.  Haynes also did well to clear 1.10m in the high jump.  Max Finnegan also made his track and field debut and notched a victory in the B 200m (32.7secs).  Finnegan also picked up good points in the 1500 metres (5mins 47.6secs) and long jump.   There was a track and field debutant for Phineas Donovan who performed creditably in the sprints which included a good 4th in a competitive 200m.

Django La Porte achieved a string of personal bests as Bicester’s sole competitor in the under 17 men’s competition. La Porte finished an impressive 2nd in the 200 metres, where he knocked 5secs off his previous best with a 26.7secs clocking.  La Porte ducked under the 13secs barriers for the first time in the 100m (12.9secs) and improved on his previous best in the long jump with a 4.67m leap.

There were three Bicester AC competitors in the under 17 women’s events.  All had been involved in action elsewhere in previous days.  Jenny Critchley competed in her second 1,500 metre event of the weekend finishing runner up in the A event and improving on her time of the previous day with a 4mins 55secs clocking.  Anna Jolliffe took the B event (5mins 8.8secs).  Katie Groves took in her second event of the weekend with a good runner up spot in the high jump (1.35m) as well as competing in the shot (6.84m) and discus (15.17m).

Bicester had a good contingent of 7 boys competing in the under 11 quad event.    There was a field of over 50 with Bicester’s best placed competitor, Oliver Jarvey, competing in his second event of the weekend, finishing 21st.  Other Bicester finishers were Shay Gallagher (29th), Cyrus Arian (32nd), Jason Osakwe (37th), Jack Murphy (40th), Jaxon Lewis (42nd) and Manny Donaldson (45th).  Bicester had one girl competitor in the under 9 quad event with Marisa Allum finishing 9th.

Written by N Dolden