Bicester AC hosted the first of five Oxfordshire Sportshall League fixtures last Sunday at Bicester and Ploughley Sports Centre.  Bicester AC made a fine start to the competition with wins in the under 11 boys and under 15 girl’s team competition.  Bicester were runners up in the under 13 girl’s and under 15 boy’s competition and 3rd in the under 11 girl’s and under 13 boy’s competition.

There was an extraordinary turnout of Bicester competitors in the under 15 girl’s event with no less than 13 girls of the 28 competing athletes.  In the under 15 competitions there is an all-rounder competition where each of the athletes are allowed to compete in up to three individual events which make up the athlete’s overall points score with an event first place yielding 20 points and a maximum all-rounder points score of 60 available.  The four highest points scorers over the three events make up the scoring team.  In the event Bicester ran out comfortable winners of the team competition, 82 points ahead of their nearest rivals.

It was a great return to action for Olivia Naidu-Johnson who had been injured for the latter half of the track and field season.  Naidu-Johnson finished equal first in the all rounder competition with 56 points which included a win in the speed bounce with a score of 76 and a second place in the standing long jump with 2.05m.  Georgia Bower was 3rd just one point behind Naidu-Johnson and her efforts included a 2.09m win in the long jump. Grace Jarvey finished on 51 points which was good enough for equal 4th which included a 1.95m long jump.  And the teams scorers were completed by Charlotte Hornby who was 6th with 47 points which included a 3rd place in the speed bounce with a score of 73.  There was a promising first ever sportshall competition performance from Lily Spencer who amassed 43 points which was Bicester’s 5th highest score.  Next highest scorer for Bicester was Yasmine Sheppard on 41 points which included a 2nd in the shot (6.86m) with Annie Rose Willis on 40 points with a 2nd in the 4 lap event (55.0secs).  Other Bicester points scorers were debutantes Freya Pillinger and Zuki Leonard (both 38 points), Molly Steward 33 points, debutante Rhea Ewins 28 points, Lucia Haverly 27 points and debutante Kiara Zapata 8 points (for two events).   The Bicester quartet of Naidu- Johnson, Bower, Jarvey and Shephard ran out easy winners of the relay clocking 1mins 41.0secs.     

The Bicester AC win in the under 11 boy’s team competition was built on the foundation of superb individual performances supported by a solid team effort.  The quartet of Charlie Simpson, Oliver Jarvey, Shay Gallagher and Samuel Wilson ran out convincing winners of the speed bounce competition with Simpson achieving an outstanding individual score of 56.  Debutant Levi Fulcher combined with Ralph Saunders to win the chest push with Fulcher’s throw of 5.88m the longest in the competition.   Fulcher and Brendan Kelly combined to take 2nd place in the vertical jump with Fulcher achieving the best individual height of 45cms.  Simpson and Jarvey produced the joint fastest individual times (13.2secs) in the one lap event.  And the team of Fulcher, Simpson, Jarvey and Gallagher ran the equal fastest time of 53.40 secs in the 4 by 1 lap relay and along with the B team of Saunders, Wilson, Oliver Kelly and Brendan Kelly took 2nd place.     

There was a spirited effort by the under 13 girl’s team in spite of only having 5 athletes to cover all of the events.  They finished in 2nd place just three points behind the winning Witney team but whereas Witney contested all of the events Bicester did not have a team for the 8 laps paarlauf.  There were some fine individual efforts from first year under 13s Lily Childs and Meriel Woodrow.   They both combined for a superb win in the triple jump with Childs’s effort of 5.63m the best in the competition.  The team of Imogen Unger, debutante Grace Fulcher, Liv Babister and Woodrow stormed to an impressive win in the obstacle relay (1mins 27.2secs).  And it was good teamwork again as the team of Unger, Childs, Babister and Fulcher took the honours in the 4 by 2 lap relay (1min47.8secs).

Bicester and Witney contested a closely fought competition in the under 15 boy’s event with Bicester finishing 2nd (218 points) just 27 points short of the Witney total.   Erlgean Appiahkorang-Mensah and Roman Haverly both finished well up in the final individual standings in joint third with 55 points.  It was Haverly’s first showing at a sportshall competition for some time and it was quite the comeback.  Haverly was equal first in the speed bounce with a score of 79 as well as taking 2nd in the triple jump (6.62m).  He started off well in the 2 lap event but overbalanced and fell pushing away from the wall, which cost him vital tenths of a second, but he still ran on to finish in 26.1secs for 5th.  There was an effortless win for Erlgean Appiahkorang-Mensah in the four lap event (49.7secs) as well as 3rd in the triple jump (6.58m) and 4th in the shot (7.67m).  Apphiahkorang-Mensah and Haverly then combined with Bicester’s other two competitors in the under 15 boy’s competition, Thomas Perry and Max Finnegan to take the 4 by 2 lap relay (1mins 41.0secs).      

The Bicester under 11 girls finished just one point off second.  There one win of the day came in the speed bounce with the team of Brianna Senior, Olivia Maxwell, Lorelei Whelan and Edith Haynes amassing a total of 164 with Whelan, who is actually an under 9, achieving the 2nd individual highest sore of 44.  Ruby Majonga and Marissa Allum were 4th in the vertical jump with Majonga’s effort of 43cms the highest individual jump.  And Brianna Senior produced the 2nd fastest time of in the one lap event (14.00secs).

There were just 4 Bicester AC competitors in the under 13 boy’s competition but the team performed well to take 3rd. All of the team were first year under 13s so it was perhaps no surprise that they found wins rather elusive.  Jaydon Beadle and Sam Naidu-Johnson took 3rd in the vertical jump with Beadle’s leap of 53cms the equal highest in the competition.  The team of Kayden Curtis, Finley Harrell, Beadle and Naidu-Johnson took 2nd place in the obstacle relay (1mins 27.8secs).