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ATHLETICS: Naylor set for title battle
STEVE Naylor can expect a real battle if he is to secure a third successive Oxfordshire Cross Country Championship title at Horspath on Sunday.
The defending champion, from Woodstock, faces Oxford City’s David Bruce and Darrell Bellinger among others in the event which doubles up as round three of the Oxford Mail League.
Bruce has won the first two rounds of the Oxford Mail League and could be Naylor’s likeliest rival, while the improving Bellinger is the Berks, Bucks and Oxon champion.
Naylor has not raced Bruce over the country, but pipped him by two seconds in winning the Chipping Norton Mota-Vation Series race last summer.
Frances Briscoe, from Wantage, will go for a sixth successive title in the ladies’ race.
The Coventry Godiva athlete’s rivals are expected to include Oxford City duo Melissa Hawtin and Gemma Bridge, plus Courtney Bishop (Liverpool Pembroke & Sefton).
Oxfordshire AA chairman John Sear said an encouraging number of runners will compete over what will be a very muddy course.
“We have got 101 entries for the under 11 girls and 60 in the boys,” said Sear.
“Maybe this is an example of the Olympic legacy?
“All of the race entries are up on last year.”
- OXFORD University student Fabian Downs won the Aylesbury Boxing Day 5K race in emphatic fashion.
Downs clocked 16mins 23secs to finish 28 seconds ahead of second-placed Mark Harris.
Banbury’s Tory Mobley was third lady home and first under 17 in 20.05.
Bicester’s Tom Gould was the first under 15 boy in 20.52.
(senior men unless stated)
WINTER GUT BUSTER 10 MILES
Didcot Runners: P Thomas (V55) 1.11.15, K Reade (LV40) 1.27.12, J Shand (LV45) 1.39.21.
POOLE ROUND THE LAKES 10K
Oxford City: 10 J Richardson (V45) 34.06 pb.