Bicester’s Gould is cream of the crop in Oxford League

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Bicester Athletics Club ended the winter cross country season in fine style as four of their young athletes scooped end-of-season awards at the final leg of the Oxford Mail League staged at Harwell.

Awards were given to athletes who finished third or better in the overall standings of their respective age groups. Bicester had at least one top 10 finisher in each of the six younger age categories.

Bicester athlete Amy Gould with her award for winning the U13 girls event

Bicester athlete Amy Gould with her award for winning the U13 girls event

Pride of place went to Amy Gould, who cemented her victory in the previous round with another top three finish as she claimed third in the U13 girls race after clocking 8.33mins for the 2,000m course. This was good enough to move her up to first place in the final overall standings.

Amy was well supported by another fine team performance by the other Bicester U13 girls as they took silver in the final team standings.

Holly Griffiths-Brown, in her first full cross country season, finished sixth in 8.39 for seventh overall, while Molly Acton saved her best for last as she placed 12th in 9.01.

Other Bicester finishers in this age group were Maisie Silvester (29th), Lauren Garside (32nd), Freya Smith (33rd), Lucy Stowell (34th), Kate Ford (39th) and Holly Hunter (47th).

For the U11 boys, Freddie Taylor’s consistency was rewarded when he took third place in the overall standings after finishing third in the final race in 5.25mins.

Michael Cadle again performed well for 16th (5.55), followed by Thomas Pringle (26th), Finn Graham (36th) and Ben Groves (38th).

Amelia Cox produced one of her best ever runs in the girls race as she clocked 5.30 for seventh overall, with club-mate Mille Couzens finishing third. Further down, Georgina Usher was 11th on the day, followed home by Emelia Sims (22nd), Ava Neptune (29th) and Ruby Silvester (44th).

Newcomer Elliot Hayes stole the plaudits in the U9s race as he finished sixth, while Imogen Cox was ninth as she won overall silver and Harry Rendell claimed fifth. Other Bicester finishers were Bella Couzens (21st) and Anna Couzens (28th).

Tom Couzens maintained his position as Bicester’s leading man in the U13 male category, placing ninth in 8.06, which was good enough for sixth in the final standings.

Billy England produced his best effort of the season for 12th place, 25 seconds behind Cozens, while other Bicester finishers in this age group included William Sims (24th) and Samuel Worfolk (30th).

In the older age groups, there was an outstanding performance from ever-improving Tara Groves, who was an excellent 12th in the U15/17 girls race in 15.04. She was supported by Libbie Nicklin (43rd) and Bethany Liversidge (44th), while Harry Sturgess carried the flag for Bicester in the equivalent age group for boys, placing 21st.