ATHLETICS: City's Bruce in debut triumph

Oxford Mail: Cirencester’s Wendy Nicholls (505) and Oxford City’s Lauren Hawtin (1084) battle for position in the early stages of the senior ladies’ race at Ascott-under-Wychwood Cirencester’s Wendy Nicholls (505) and Oxford City’s Lauren Hawtin (1084) battle for position in the early stages of the senior ladies’ race at Ascott-under-Wychwood

OXFORD MAIL CROSS COUNTRY LEAGUE

David Bruce marked his Oxford City debut with a dominant victory in round one at Ascott-under-Wychwood.

But it is unlikely he will face far worse conditions if he becomes a seasoned campaigner in the league.

Ascott is the traditional curtain raiser of the five-race campaign and is renowned for its water crossing.

However, heavy rain and freezing conditions meant runners were almost glad to enter this feature – as it did at least briefly clean their spikes.

Oxford Half Marathon champion Bruce was not hanging around, taking first place by more than a minute.

He completed the 8.5km course in 29mins 53secs, with 17-year-old Swindon Harrier Nyle Clinton clocking 31.08 for an excellent second.

Oxford Brookes University student Josh Entwistle was third in 31.34, holding off defending champion Paul Fernandez (Abingdon Amblers) who recorded 31.41.

The ladies’ race was won by 16-year-old Lillie Bellamy (Swindon Harriers), who opted not to compete in the under 15-17 event.

Bellamy clearly wanted greater competition and her class showed with a 12-second victory.

She completed the 6.5km course in 26.12, with 43-year-old Wendy Nicholls (Cirencester) clocking 26.12 for second.

The first Oxfordshire lady home was Headington Road Runner Jess Leitch, who recorded 27.08 for third.

Oxford City’s Lauren Hawtin was fourth and the first under 20 athlete in 27.33.

Defending vet 40 champion, Steve Male (Oxford City) got his campaign off to a strong start by finishing fifth and first in his category.

Male clocked 31.48, with Headington pair Chris Dettmar (33.05) and Chris Riley (33.18) his nearest challengers in 11th and 13th respectively.

Swindon Harrier Brian Gardner was the first vet 50 home in 34.14, ahead of Headington’s Mark Richards, who clocked 34.52.

Another Swindon athlete, Peter Molloy, held off City’s Stewart Thorp in the vet 60 event, recording 37.04 to the latter’s 37.53.

Team Kennet’s Sue Francis was the second vet 35 lady behind Nicholls, clocking 28.00 for eighth, while Alchester’s Sarah Cox was the leading Oxon performer, coming tenth in 28.19.

Banbury’s Ros Kelling had a fine run to come sixth and first vet 45 in 27.44, with Newbury’s Sue Van Huysteen (29.24) second in the category.

Newbury’s Sarah Fowler clocked 32.01 to top the vet 55 standings ahead of Cherwell’s Kim Shaw (32.14).

Round two at Culham on December 2 is often the muddiest in the series, so it may not get any easier next time.

Results check MEN Senior (top 30, senior men unless stated): 1 D Bruce (Oxf) 29.53, 2 N Clinton (Swh, U20) 31.08, 3 J Entwistle (OxB) 31.34, 4 P Fernandez (Abn) 31.41, 5 S Male (Oxf, V40) 31.48, 6 M Vardy (New) 32.25, 7 Q Kearns (Abn) 32.30, 8 A Burgess (Oxf) 32.33, 9 J Craggs (New) 32.48, 10 T Wright (Ban) 33.01, 11 C Dettmar (Hed, V40) 33.05, 12 N Jones (New) 33.14, 13 C Riley (Hed, V40) 33.18, 14 J Bolton (Wds) 33.26, 15 D Hamilton (Abn) 33.30, 16 M Shannon (Cir) 33.36, 17 D Fry (New) 33.41, 18 S Marshall (Whh, U20) 33.42, 19 H Bampton (Swh, V40) 33.44, 20 P Jegou (Whh) 33.54, 21 J Atyeo (Oxf, V40) 33.55, 22 G Watts (Tkt) 33.56, 23 C Reade (Swh) 34.02, 24 S Barnes (New, V40) 34.13, 25 B Gardner (Swh, V50) 34.14, 26 T Doole (Hed) 34.22, 27 T Offord (Ban) 34.23, 28 M Tankard (Oxf, V40) 34.25, 29 S Pritchard (Ban, V40) 34.36, 30 P Key (Swh) 34.39.

Under 15/17 (Under 17 unless stated): 1 N Gillis (Tkt) 17.46, 2 T Kelly (Whh) 17.56, 3 W Ballard (Swh) 18.04, 4 M Marshall (Oxf) 18.23, 5 J Currah (Wit) 18.27, 6 L Edward-Jones (Abn) 18.31, 7 C Hewitt (Rad) 18.43, 8 A Hanson (Tkt) 19.19, 9 B Claridge (Whh, U15) 19.29, 10 C Cooper (Swh) 19.31.

Under 13: 1 W Crisp (Swh) 7.23, 2 D Stokell (Rad) 7.46, 3 J Mitchell (Rad) 7.47, 4 N Wiltshire (Abn) 7.53, 5 B Fry (New) 8.11, 6 G King-Thompson (Oxf) 8.16, 7 M Crowther (Oxf) 8.17, 8 A Scott (Rad) 8.21, 9 George Mayer (Wit) 8.22, 10 J Maughan (Tkt) 8.24.

Under 11: 1 S Snelson (Ban) 3.49, 2 H Insley (Rad) 3.49, 3 J Richardson (Oxf) 3.55, 4 E Fry (New) 3.56, 5 B Rodriguez (Oxf) 3.58, 6 J McLaughlin (Tkt) 4.06, 7 J Sunderland (Oxf) 4.09, 8 S Clarke (Tkt) 4.11, 9 B Jones (Rad) 4.12, 10 T Couzens (Bic) 4.14.

LADIES Senior (top 30, senior ladies unless stated): 1 L Bellamy (Swh, U17) 26.00, 2 W Nicholls (Cir, LV35) 26.12, 3 J Leitch (Hed) 27.08, 4 L Hawtin (Oxf, U20) 27.33, 5 M Pank (Alc) 27.39, 6 R Kelling (Ban, LV45) 27.44, 7 H Preedy (Tkt) 27.55, 8 S Francis (Tkt, LV35) 28.00, 9 B Alston (OxB) 28.15, 10 S Cox (Alc, LV35) 28.19, 11 F Snare (Wit) 28.21, 12 M Bartlett (Ban, LV35) 28.27, 13 F Gordan (Swi, LV35) 28.32, 14 S Usher (Alc, LV35) 28.37, 15 M Grimsley (Hig) 28.46, 16 A Hopkins (Hed, LV35) 28.51, 17 A Lyng (Hed) 28.55, 18 C Parker (Abn, U20) 28.56, 19 N Smith (Hed) 29.11, 20 E Bailey (New, LV35) 29.13, 21 S Rendell (Alc) 29.21, 22 S Van Huysteen (New, LV45) 29.24, 23 L Purbrick (Abn) 29.38, 24 C Shelley (Hed, LV35) 29.43, 25 E Fidler (Alc, LV35) 30.03, 26 A Finnigan (Kid, LV35) 30.05, 27 V Duncan (New, U20) 30.09, 28 K Bamber (Wit) 30.23, 29 R Brown (Cir) 30.30, 30 A Smith (Rad, LV35) 30.37.

Under 15/17 (Under 17 unless stated): 1 G Shepherd (Mar, U15) 13.48, 2 M Humphreys (Oxf, U15) 13.52, 3 Y Ryder (Tkt, U15) 14.11, 4 F Bunn (Abn, U15) 14.32, 5 C George (Swh, U15) 14.43, 6 J Harrison (Whh) 15.03, 7 C Huxley (Oxf, U15) 15.08, 8 V Tilling (Abn, U15) 15.10, 9 D White (Rad, U15) 15.20, 10 C Huynh (Swh) 15.22.

Under 13: 1 I Fry (New) 8.21, 2 C Ridewood (Oxf) 8.27, 3 H Batstone (Rad) 8.29, 4 J Miller (Ban) 8.38, 5 S Drake (Tkt) 8.40, 6 L Fellows (Tkt) 8.44, 7 E Thompson (Ban) 8.47, 8 G McErlain (Rad) 8.57, 9 T Williams (Ban) 9.00, 10 A Lewis (Tkt) 9.11.

Under 11: 1 M Brown (Tkt) 4.11, 2 R Burton (Rad) 4.19, 3 M Acton (Bic) 4.23, 4 A Gould (Bic) 4.25, 5 M Eldridge (Tkt) 4.29, 6 A Kelly (Whh) 4.30, 7 C Barwick (Abn) 4.32, 8 M Adams (Rad) 4.33, 9 M Silvester (Bic) 4.34, 10 F Bucher (Chw) 4.35.

KEY TO CLUBS Abn=Abingdon, Alc=Alchester, Ban=Ban-bury, Bic=Bicester, Chw=Cherwell, Cir= Cirencester, Did= Didcot, Hed=Headington, Hig=Highworth, Hkn=Hook Norton, Kid=Kidlington, Mar=Marlborough, New= Newbury, OxB=Oxford Brookes, Oxf=Oxf-ord City, Rad=Radley, Ste=St Edward’s School, Swh=Swindon Harriers, Swi= Swindon Striders, Tkt=Team Kennet, Wit=Witney, Wds=Woodstock, Whh=White Horse Harriers.

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