Oxfordshire’s first outdoor track and field athletics meeting of the year, the Radley AC Kear Memorial Open, took place last Saturday at Tilsley Park and was well attended by Bicester AC athletes.  With no track and field meetings taking place during the Winter, runners were inevitably a bit rusty, having had to keep fit by other means which for most athletes would have been through cross country running, circuit training and sportshall athletics or in some cases a combination all three.

One athlete who has hit the ground running is Earlgean Appiahkorang-Mensah competing in his third track and field meeting of 2024.  And he put this fitness to good use by equalling his personal best in the long jump with an 8th place and an under 15 pb level 5 jump of 4.84m.  The pb level awards replace the AAA national grade standards and comprises 9 levels with a minimum level required to achieve level 1 through to the highest 9 level.  On a day when personal bests, for anything other than first attempts, were hard to achieve, Appiahkorang-Mensah did well to record his best ever 200m with a pb award level 3 run of 26.30secs which placed him 3rd in his heat.  He was also not far off his 800m best where he finished 2nd in his heat  with a pb level 4 time of 2mins 16.33secs.

Georgia Bower, Naoimi Ejiogu  and Grace Jarvey have not competed in a 100m since last Summer so their Radley appearance should have helped blow off the cobwebs.  Best time of the trio was Ejiogu’s 13.14secs, which was an under 17 lady’s level 4 time.  Bower managed an under 17 lady’s pb level 3 clocking of 13.39secs with Grace Jarvey’s 14.10 secs clocking an under 15 girl’s pb level 2 time.  However it was Bower who was best of the trio in the long jump leaping to an under 17 lady’s pb level 3 jump of 4.44m.   Ejiogu was close behind with 4.37m which was also a pb level 3 leap.  Jarvey was not far off her best and her 4.08m leap was an under 15 girl’s pb level 4 performance.  Jarvey also managed a level 4 effort in the 200m clocking 29.95secs.

Bicester had three runners in the various heats of 1500 metres all of whom had performed with distinction over the Winter in cross country races.  Leo Blyton had already started his track campaign well and produced another good effort to finish 6th in his heat of the 1500 metres with an under 15 pb level 4 clocking of 4mins 51.55secs.  Darragh Cassidy was making his Bicester track and field debut in the same heat and did well to crack the 5 minute barrier with 9th and an under 15 pb level 4 clocking of 4mins 59.44secs.  For good measure, Cassidy also competed in the shot where he finished 3rd with 5.59m.  Charlie Joiner was having his first track race for the club and managed an under 13 pb level 1 clocking of 5mins 58.63secs in the 1500 metres. 

Ella Myers-Finnegan has been competing well over the country this season and she competed in her first competitive 800m finishing 3rd out of the 6 runners in her heat with 2mins 47.68secs.  Max Finnegan was also in personal best form clocking 2mins 47.68secs in finishing 2nd out of the 8 runners in his heat of the 800m.   Lorelei Whelan was Bicester’s only competitor in the under 11 quad competition and her efforts included a new best in the 75m (13.32secs).

Bicester had two under 13 boys in the long jump with Oscar Jarvey, just short of his personal best, placing 8th with 3.38m which was a pb level 2 performance.  Felix Cassidy, competing in his first ever track event jumped 2.05m and also managed a 3mins 15.64secs clocking in the 800m.