There were some exceptional performances posted by Bicester athletes in their Heart of England match staged on Saturday 7th May at Kettering.  There were well over 40 personal bests set throughout the afternoon.  One of the star performers of the day was Millie Couzens, who has put her new found strength from a good cross country season, to good effect.  In the under 13 girl’s 800 metres, despite finishing runner up, Couzens posted a superb time of 2mins 32.1secs which was a new club record and national grade 3 effort.  Her time places her 30th in the national rankings at this early stage of the season and she is just 3 seconds off the grade 1 standard for her age group.  Not content with one club record Couzens proceeded to better the old under 13 high jump record with a leap of 1.35m which placed her 3rd and was also a national grade 3 effort.  Couzens also equalled her personal best in the 70 metre hurdles clocking 12.8secs for 4th.

Ben West was one of the best under 15 male cross country performers in Oxfordshire last season.  Now he is beginning to emerge as a real force on the track in his first year in the under 17 age group.  Last week he achieved a triple set of first places in three of the toughest events on the track; all personal bests.  At Kettering he further improved on two of his bests as he landed victories in the 800 metres and 1500 metres.  West produced an exceptional effort to win the 800 metres in a new personal best time of 2mins 4.8secs with a comfortable winning margin of 4secs.  He was also victorious in the 1500 metres, with yet another personal best time of 4mins 23.4s, some 16 secs clear of the runner up.  West was also in personal best from in the long jump finishing 4th with 4.60m.

Another runner to emerge with credit from the cross country season was Mix Nicolle and he continued his fine early season form in the under 15 1500 metres with an excellent 2nd in a new personal best time of 4mins 50.4secs. Nicolle was also in personal best form in the high jump placing 4th with a 1.40m leap.  Sean Lock also ran a personal best as he finished runner up in the under 13 boy’s 1500  metres clocking 5mins 27.4s.  And Tom Couzens also registered a new personal best in the under 15 boy’s 800 metres as he finished 4th in 2mins 22secs.  However he excelled in the long jump where he was 3rd with another personal best leap of 4.71m.

Jamil Welham has started the season in cracking form and produced one of the runs of his career as he moved up to the under 15 boy’s 300 metres to record a splendid victory in a new personal best time of 41.6secs.  Having set a new personal best in the 200 metres the previous week, Welham recorded another fast time in the 200 metres(26.8secs) and garnered good points for the club in the long jump winning the B event with a new personal best leap of 4.57m.

Joshua Parker had an outstanding day in the sprints and the jumps.  The first of his two wins came in the in the under 11 boy’s 75 metres as he set a new club record mark of 10.7secs.  It was Parker at the double as he also produced a win in the under 11 long jump with a new personal best mark of 3.56m.  Not to be outdone his sister Josephine was 2nd in the under 11 girl’s 75 metres with a very swift clocking of 11.4secs.

Oscar Honour can normally be relied on to show his form and he did not disappoint at Kettering where he featured well in the under 15 shot putt taking runner up spot with 8.37m with clubmate Joe Mimpress taking first place in the B event (6.02m).  And Honour gained further good points placing 2nd in the B 200 metres with a new personal best of 27.7secs.

Will Sims has made a seamless transfer over from middle distances to throws and he was again in good form in the under 15 boy’s javelin taking 2nd with a throw of 29.10 metres.  His sister, Emelia, continues to straddle the two and she enjoyed personal bests in the under 13 girl’s 800 metres (3mins 1.8secs) and javelin throw (13.08m).   Bicester’s other winners were Charlotte Kavanagh in the B under 11 girl’s 75 metres (11.9secs) and Samuel Rayson in the under 13 boy’s 75 metre hurdles (14.9secs).