Wheeler is star turn for Bicester AC

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ATHLETICS: Bicester AC had a magnificent turnout in round one of five of the 2011/12 Oxford Mail Cross Country League held last Sunday over the testing terrain of Ascott under Wychwood. There was a particularly strong turnout in the U11 girls race with Bicester runners making up a fifth of the total field.

The race was run over a distance of approximately 1.200 metres. Bicester AC’s Sophie Wheeler was very much the star as she romped to a magnificent victory in the 61 runner strong field in a fantastic time of 3 mins 57 secs, the only U11 girl to break four minutes. It was a groundbreaking victory for Bicester as this was the first victory by the club in an Oxford Mail League event for many years and confirmed Wheeler as potentially the best cross country runner of her age group in the county.

Wheeler was well supported in the team competition with Amy Gould recording her highest ever position in an Oxford Mail League event clocking 4mins 20 secs for 11th place. She was chased hard by the much improved Molly Acton who built on her fine track and field season to finish 12th in 4mins 25secs.

There were several other fine performances further down the field. Olivia Bruce made an excellent debut for the club finishing 14th in 4mins 28secs. There was a top half finish too for Maisie Sylvester who has come on leaps and bounds since last year and placed a very creditable 22nd (4mins 34secs). Another debutant to shine was Millie Couzens who placed 34th in 4 mins 48secs. Kerry Hickman ran a solid race for 36th (4mins 49secs) and was followed home by debutant Charlotte Whittingham who performed respectably in 47th (5mins 7 secs).

It was good to see track performers Lauren Garside and Holly Hunter supporting the team and they were 48th and 49th respectively with Garside (5mins 23 secs) just one second in front of Hunter. The team scores were completed by Mollie Bird (54th in 5mins 21secs) and Emily Wright (59th in 5mins 36 secs)