ATHLETICS: Gibbon delivers Oxon's star turn

Jess Gibbon in action at Cofton Park Photo: John Harvey

Jess Gibbon in action at Cofton Park Photo: John Harvey

First published in Sport Oxford Mail: Photograph of the Author by , Sports reporter specialising in Rugby, Cricket and Athletics. Call me on 01865 425456


JESS Gibbon produced the best Oxfordshire performance in the CAU Inter-Counties Cross Country Championships at Cofton Park, Birmingham.

The 17-year-old, from Henley, finished fifth in the under 20 ladies’ race over a very muddy 6km course.

Gibbon, who is a Great Britain junior international, clocked 20mins 40secs in a race won by Kent’s Bobby Clay in 19.52.

Oxford City’s Megan Humphreys also shone with a 12th-place finish in the under 17 girls’ race.

Humphreys completed the 5km course in 20.26, while Banbury Harriers’ Tory Mobley came 28th in 21.00.

Abingdon’s Fiona Bunn was 20th in the under 15 girls’ category over 4km with an 18.05 clocking.

Her clubmate, Nick Wiltshire finished 29th in the under 13 boys’ race, recording 11.18 for a 3km course.

David Bruce, from Oxford, was the top performer in the 12km senior men’s race.

Bruce finished 60th in 37.03, while Paul Fernandez (Abingdon) pipped Aaron Burgess (Oxford City) by one place, recording 38.18 and 38.19 for 129th and 130 respectively.

Oxon’s expected top finisher Steve Naylor, from Cassington, missed the race due to a back injury.

Julian Richardson (Oxf-ord City), James Bolton (Woodstock Harriers) and Les Newell (Oxford City) had a good battle for fourth, fifth and sixth.

Witney Road Runners’ Frankie Snare was Oxfordshire’s first runner home in the senior ladies’ race, completing the 8km course in 33.22 for 177th place overall.

Banbury Harriers’ vet 45 athlete Ros Kelling was the county’s only other lady to break the top 200, while Oxford City’s Melissa Hawtin was a non-finisher.

Oxfordshire’s most successful team were their under 15 girls in 17th place.

The county’s senior men came 18th overall and seventh in the nine finishers category.

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