When It Happens Panel Get involved: send your photos, videos, news & views by texting 'OXFORD NEWS' to 80360 or email
ATHLETICS: Bellinger delivers to stake title claims
Darrell Bellinger won his first Mota-Vation Series race in round three at Combe and established himself as the new men’s title favourite.
With 2011 champion Steve Naylor, from Woodstock, set to miss the final two races of the campaign, the holder will not be able to retain his crown.
Bellinger’s victory at Combe means he will be guaranteed the title if he wins two of the final three races, starting with tonight’s fourth round at Chipping Norton.
The Oxford City runner, who finished second in the previous round, held off a determined challenge from Woodstock Harriers’ James Bolton.
Bellinger completed the undulating 3.9-mile course in 20mins 5secs, with Bolton clocking 20.22.
There was a big gap back to third where Aaron Burgess (Oxford City) edged out Banbury’s Tim Wright and clubmate Julian Richardson in 21.10.
Woodstock Harriers’ Sophie Carter made it two wins from two in the ladies’ competition, finishing 19th overall in 22.54.
With several leading lights missing, there were some unusual names higher up the standings, but City continued their dominance of the men’s team event with six runners in the top 15.
Headington Road Runners top the ladies’ team rankings, with Diane Moore leading them home on the night to take the vet 35 prize in 37th place with 24.28.
Richardson (21.14) had the consolation of being the first vet 40 man, while City also picked up the vet 50 crown through Brian Green (23.39) and the vet 60 prize with Stewart Thorp (24.17).
Moore was also the second lady home, with Sarn Helen’s Jessica Leitch (24.58) and Headington’s Taine Lyng (25.11) taking the other senior prizes.
Alchester’s Angela Banks was the first vet 45 lady in 27.53, while City’s Gwyneth Hueter captured the vet 55 honours in 30.15.
Top 20 (senior men unless stated): 1 D Bellinger (Oxford City) 20.05, 2 J Bolton (Woodstock H) 20.22, 3 A Burgess (Oxford City) 21.10, 4 T Wright (Banbury H) 21.11, 5 J Richardson (V40, Oxford City) 21.14, 6 C Riley (V40, Bedford & County) 21.20, 7 G Harris (V40, Headington RR) 21.45, 8 B O’Connor (V40, Woodstock) 21.46, 9 M Maxwell (V40, Oxford City) 21.55, 10 P Jegou (White Horse H) 22.03, 11 T Offord (Banbury) 22.10, 12 E Mezzetti (Oxford City) 22.14, 13 R Storey (V40, Eynsham RR) 22.20, 14 R Gould (V40, Alchester) 22.21, 15 M Tankard (V40, Oxford City) 22.26, 16 J Atyeo (V40, Oxford City) 22.46, 17 K Dykes (V40, Oxford City), 18 T Doole (Headington) 22.52, 19 S Carter (SL, Woodstock) 22.54, 20 A Vessey (U19M, Abingdon Amblers) 23.08.
Men’s team (top six): 1 Oxford City 45pts, 2 Woodstock Harriers 162, 3 Headington Road Runners 178, 4 Eynsham Road Runners 198, 5 Oxford City B 208, 6 Witney Road Runners 272.
Women’s team (top six): 1 Headington Road Runners 16pts, 2 Alchester 32, 3 Headington Road Runners 43, 4 Woodstock Harriers 47, 5 Witney Road Runners 56, 6 Eynsham Road Runners 57.