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ATHLETICS: It's seven up for Briscoe
Frances Briscoe stormed to her seventh successive Oxfordshire Cross Country Championship title at a very muddy Hor-spath, writes Ed Mezzetti.
The 29-year-old, from Want-age, clocked 21mins 47secs for the 6km course to come home 29 seconds clear of Oxford City’s Melissa Hawtin.
Sunday’s race doubled up as round three of the Oxford Mail League and saw the traditional route altered as a downhill sections, known as the Ridings, wase deemed too dangerous in the mud.
Briscoe, whose first-claim club is Coventry Godiva Harriers, was unsure how she would fare at Horspath.
“I was returning from illness, so was pleased with my performance,” she said.
Briscoe’s second club, White Horse Harriers, also enjoyed a successful days’s racing.
Sam Marshall took the under 20 men’s county title, recording 33.36 for 20th overall on a 9km course.
Clubmate Jonnie Cornish was the first under 20 home in the league race 33.09, but was ineligible for that category in the county event as he turns 20 this year.
White Horse’s Ben Claridge took the under 15 county title, completing the 5km course in 23.16.
Christian Von Eitzen, from Abingdon, was the Oxon under 17 champion, the Vale of Aylesbury athlete powering home in 20.29.
Abingdon Ambler Paul Fernandez, who won the league last season, sat out the race as he prepares to go on a training camp in Kenya.
Abingdon’s Dan Hamilton was the first local man home in 23th, one place ahead of White Horse’s Paul Jegou, who was competing in his 100th league race. There were Oxon medals for seven other local juniors.
Abingdon’s Nick Wiltshire took under 13 boys silver, with Radley’s Jack Mitchell claiming bronze.
In the under 11 boys’ race, silver went to Alex Penning-ton (Abingdon) and bronze to Henry Insley (Radley).
White Horse Harrier Josie Harrison claimed the under 17 girls’ silver, with Abing-don’s Fiona Bunn and Rad-ley’s Rachel Burton achieving silvers at under 15 and under 11 level respectively.