DESPITE the absence of a number of key athletes for the opening match of the Chiltern Cross Country series in Oxford, strength in depth provided the base for a fourth-placed finish for Windsor, Slough, Eton & Hounslow Athletics Club.

The senior ladies were on song with four athletes in the top 10 to cross the finish line.

Charlotte Firth led the way with her second place in 21 minutes and 23 seconds (21.23), closely followed by Jenny Ball in third on 21.39 and then Alice Flint in fourth on 21.47. Caroline Johnson was next to appear in sixth place on 23.09.

The senior men were short on numbers but there was an excellent run from newcomer Seb Cerillo who finished second in 31.05. There was a short gap before James Tidd crossed the finish in sixth place in 31.48.

The Under 17s race was totally dominated by the WSEH National Road Relay champions, providing four of the top-five finishers.

Will Barnicott was well clear in the number one spot with his time of 18.16, a minute ahead of second-placed Liam Stone on 19.16 ,with Ed Henderson in third place on 19.33. Alfie Spear was next to finish in fifth place in 19.55.

There was a short wait before the next bunch of WSEH athletes appeared, Finlay Kirk leading the way in ninth place on 21.02, being chased by debutant Miguel Caeiro in 10th on 21.07 and Declan Connelly 11th with 21.15.

In the U20/17s ladies race, first home for WSEH was Emmie Savory in fifth place on 21.04. She was followed by Abi White in 11th place on 22.20 with Tia Hansford in touch in 12th place on 22.28. The WSEH team was completed by Kate Thompson in 19th place on 22m55.

There was just one WSEH runner in the U15s race, Alex Bishop finishing 12th on 13.35.

WSEH were better represented in the U15 girls event, Kiki Webb taking a good second place in 15.23. There was a short gap before Hannah Wooley appeared in sixth place on 15m47.

The WSEH team was completed by Carla Manning in 16th place in 16.31 and Nicole Chamberlain in 17th on 16.35.

WSEH fielded a complete team in the U13 boys race. First home was Archie Robinson in eighth place in 11.11.

Jack Philpotts was not far adrift in 13th place in 11.18 with a similar gap before Toby Kimmins crossed the finish in 16th place in 11.21. Evan Hardy completed the WSEH team in 20th place in 11.38

There were just two WSEH competitors ion the U13 girls race, Eloisa Symonds finishing in seventh place on 11.32, with Annabel Bailey 12th on 11.42.