Oxford Mail cross country


Report from Ascott-u-Wychwood

It was good to see a large number of Banbury runners turning out for the first round of the Oxon Mail Cross Country league at an unusually sunny Ascott-under-Wychwood on Sunday. Although still wet underfoot the abnormally warm conditions turned the hilly course into a real endurance test.

Will Brown was first up in the under-9’s running well to claim 12th place, followed by Tilly Lainchbury, Eimear Moss and Talitha Eskender in the under-11 girls who came 21st, 38th and 57th respectively. The under-11 boys was very exciting from a Banbury perspective with Henry Pollock taking 5th place although given the same recorded time as 4th place and he was closely followed by Ruben Snelson in 6th and Max Lloyd-Thomas in 8th. Ethan Aldous ran strongly for 16th as he moved up to under-11 and Ryan Barnby showed good speed to finish 26th. Stanley Kay finished 36th in what was a very encouraging race from a Harrier’s perspective.

The under-13 girl’s race produced good runs from Lizzie Eskender (26th), Sophie Howie (36th), Mia Berridge (37th), Nikola Bishop (38th) and Laura Berrie (41st) and then, despite only having 2 runners, the under-13 boys recorded an overall 3rd place team finish thanks to super runs from Skip Snelson who finished in an excellent 2nd place and Angus Pollock who finished 6th.

The under-15 and under-17 girls provided Harrier’s first team victory of the season as strong running in exceptionally tough conditions saw Emily Thompson finish 3rd (u17), Jenny Hannah finish 5th but first under-15 and Tia Williams finish 8th but 3rd under-15. In the same age group the boys had to settle for 4th place but there was some really gutsy running from Gregor Kelling (12th), Blaine Carpenter (15th), Owen Knox (20th) and Cameron Baugh (26th).

There were big fields in both senior races and out of 185 finishers in the woman’s race Michelle Bartlett was an excellent 25th and 2nd V2. Next home for Harriers was Becky Pull in 83rd, followed by Amanda Hallam 89th, Rebecca Biegel 101st, Lisa Ansell 121st and Carol Edginton 126th. In an even larger field of over 300 runners the men’s race produced an excellent run from Tim Wright who came home in 13th. Next home for Banbury Harriers was David Hollidge in 61st, followed by Simon Pritchard 127th, Pete Newell 178th, Phil Coy 214th, Neil Forbes 269th, Ian Robinson 278th, Doug Scott 293rd and Andy Bartlett 293rd. The men’s team also finished a creditable 6th place in their division 3.



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