Bicester AC enjoyed their first top 3 individual placings and first team placing of the season in the latest Oxfordshire Cross Country League event held last Sunday at Cirencester Park.  In what was Bicester’s finest day of cross country competition of the season so far, several of the Bicester runners who performed well were competing in their first cross country season. 

Owen Stocker, who ran his first cross country race for Bicester in 2016, was Bicester’s highest finisher on the day.  Stocker ran a superb race in the under 17 men’s race held over 5,960m recording his highest ever cross country league placing finishing 2nd out of the 42 runners, which incorporated both the men and women races.  Stocker’s time of 22mins 17secs was just 27secs behind the winning time.  Bicester’s under 17 men competed strongly with Isaac Moran 2nd team finisher with a good top half finish of 17th (24mins 03secs).  Team finishers were completed by Noah Gulvin who was 21st in 24mins 25secs.  Bicester’s finishers were completed by Joshua Moran who competed well for 25th (24mins 55secs).  The under 17 woman’s event was held in conjunction with the men’s event and Bicester’s Imogen Cox placed 42nd with 34mins 26secs.

The under 13 boy’s team excelled themselves with a superb first place which incorporated some outstanding individual runs.  Daragh Cassidy was running in only his second cross country race for Bicester and is at the junior end of the under 13 age group.  He produced an excellent run for 3rd place clocking 11mins 54secs for the 2,970m distance.  However he was challenged strongly by Erlgean Appiahkorang-Mensah who produced his highest ever cross country placing in 4th place (11mins 56secs) just two seconds behind Cassidy.  The team’s finishers were completed by Max Finnegan who was a superb 9th (12mins 44secs), his first ever top ten individual cross country placing.  The team finished 12 points clear of 2nd placed Abingdon AC.

The under 11 girl’s Bicester team also performed well.  Running over the same distance as the under 13 boys, Ella Myers-Finnegan led the team home with a top ten finish of 8th clocking 13mions 36secs.  Kate O Malley, who is in her debut cross country season, ran her second race of the weekend for 16th place (14mins 59secs).  And the team finishers were completed by the improving Emelie Stocker, also competing in her 2nd weekend race, who finished 26th (16mins 56secs).  The team finished in 5th place.

There was an improved run from William Morris in the under 15 boy’s race run over 4,450m where he finished 15th in 17mins 37secs.  George Hart continues to perform well this cross country season and he placed 23rd with 18mins 25secs.  The under 15 girl’s event was held in conjunction with the boy’s event and Bethany Wetton placed 52nd with 25mins 52secs. There was a promising debut run in the under 11 boy’s race from Zachary O Regan who nearly made the top half of finishers in the under 11 boy’s race run over 1,460m.  O Regan placed 17th in 6mins 02secs with Cameron Waters, in his 2nd race of the weekend 20th in 16mins 14secs, and Felix Cassidy, also making his debut, 24th in 6mins 27secs.

There were three Bicester runner in the under 11 girl’s race and as in round 1 first season cross country runner Maya Korn led the team home in 16th place clocking 6mins 41secs for the 1,460m distance.  Nancy Alcraft followed Korn home in 19th with 6mins 56secs and the Bicester finishers were completed by Lily Rose Hopkins, who was making her Bicester debut, 22nd in 7ins 30secs.

Bicester had two ladies in the senior lady’s race run over 7,810m.  Leanne Stocker placed in the top 100 for the second consecutive race with 81st (44mins 47secs).  And there was a good debut run for Katrina O Malley who was 120th in 52mins 43secs.  Bicester’s sole competitor in the under 9 race was Barnaby Bosley who placed in the top half of finishers in 11th place for the 1,190m course. The only Bicester AC runner in the senior men’s race, run over the same distance as the senior lady’s race, was Arran Critchley.  He was having his second outing of the weekend and continues to show steady improvement with a decent looking 197th in 43mins.