The Strongest 2nds Team in Oxford Sporting History?

In Sports Teams by Luke Cotter7 Comments

5/8 Tortoises already have Full Blues, and two of the team are freshers. With a sum total of 9 Full Blues, 3 Half Blues and 2 international sportsmen, is this the strongest Seconds team Oxford sport has ever seen? Most certainly not. Just look at us – we’re all dweebs.

Alex Bampton

All photos courtesy of Barry Cornelius.

Position at Cuppers: 6th
Position at Milton Keynes Cross Challenge: 23rd (9th Oxford)
Miles run this term: 353 (70.6 avg.)
Weight: 67kg

‘I am f*cking good.’ Turned down a PhD at UCL because they’re crap at running. Came to Oxford to spend a year with the boiz instead. After making the Birmingham A team last year, this ex-Brummie thought he’d walk into the Blues team. Agonizingly close. Maybe this is the impetus needed for him to kick his sporadic smoking habit.

Bampton’s family is extremely supportive of his quest to be the best. Mrs. Bampton has even joined the S&C group in order to keep up with his gainz.

Alex Gruen

Position at Cuppers: 3rd
Position at Milton Keynes Cross Challenge: 35th (11th Oxford)
Miles run this term: 255 (51 avg.)
Weight: 64kg

The Blues Varsity 1500m champion cruised round at Cuppers, and had one foot on that coach to Wimbledon Common. Then we reminded him that the Blues course is 7.5 miles. So he chopped round at Milton Keynes to avoid the call up and started training for a Christmas 3000m.

The Tab 2’s firepower this year has impressed Gruen, but, in his words: “I’m from the outback and that means I know that you need to fight fire with fire.”

Noah Hurton

Position at Cuppers: 7th
Position at Milton Keynes Cross Challenge: 31st (10th Oxford)
Miles run this term: 330 (66 avg.)
Weight: 75kg

Noah Hurton a.k.a. Noah No-no was a regular fixture in the New Zealand All Blacks before taking up his Geography BA. Named for his propensity to demoralize anyone who tries to pass him by wagging a stern finger and gently whispering ‘No, no, no,’ before disappearing off into the distance. It genuinely works, except on his fresher sister Connie who has been outsprinting him since they were 10 years old. Will fix your tent for a fiver.

Liam Smith

Position at Cuppers: 7th
Position at Milton Keynes Cross Challenge: 36th (12th Oxford)
Miles run this term: 220 (44 avg.)
Weight: 72kg

Most people are bloody happy when they get into Oxford. This Imperial exile had no choice. Liam made the most of situation and has got off to a flying start in the provinces by opening Norham Gardens’ first Pizzeria. We got excited when we heard that a former world champion had been complaining about Liam taking his segments on Strava. We got less excited when it turned out that former world champion was Jenson Button. Nevertheless, Liam won’t be shy about cracking a few coconuts on his way to baking a show-stopping dairy-free Varsity sponge.

Miles Chandler

Position at Cuppers: 10th
Position at Milton Keynes Cross Challenge: 39th (13th Oxford)
Miles run this term: 318 (63 avg.)
Weight: 81kg

Returning top tortoise. 1st in this race last year after famously not picking himself for Blues. Basically, he’s the nicest bloke about. Unfortunately his chat and intellect goes way over my head (he wrote Noah’s^^).

Luke Cotter

Position at Cuppers: Top of the hill taking some quality snaps.
Position at Milton Keynes Cross Challenge: 46th (14th Oxford).
Miles run this term: 11, 6 of them being the 2nd selection race (2.2 avg.)
Weight: 67kg

Captain Cripple. Spent most of the term splashing about in the slow lane of the pool, pissing off the OAPs. Can newly amphibious Cotter find his land legs in time to conquer Shotover and keep his Blues hopes alive by making the reserves? Maybe not, but he’ll probably pick himself anyway. He’s not as nice as Chandler (is looking for a nice girl though, leave a comment below if interested).

Miles Weatherseed

Already beaten one Olympian this season, admittedly over a VK race

Position at Cuppers: 10th 
Position at Milton Keynes Cross Challenge:  48th (15th Oxford)
Strawpedos this term: 65 (13 avg.) Editor’s note: genuinely not far from the truth
Weight: 73kg

Did you know Speed once came 3rd at the English Schools after a week in Zante with the boiz?? Since then he’s grown up and realized he can only do one of the two properly. Still a top boozer.

Tommy Lees

Position at Cuppers: 10th 
Position at Milton Keynes Cross Challenge: 50th (16th Oxford)
Miles run this term: 230 (46 avg.)
Weight: 74kg

Last ran Cross Country in 2012: convinced himself he was big time because he rode some horses or something and led the match for 1km. It’s taken him 5 years to recover from the trauma. Despite supposedly being “Oxfords top sportsman” in 2013 (what a joke) this former jockey decided to have a crack at using his own two legs instead of making an animal do the work for him. Top bloke though.

Long live the Tortoises!

Come to Shotover this Saturday and cheer us on:


  1. Miles the juggernaut Chandler
    Heaviest Blue in the history of Varsity Cross Country?

  2. Cotter?? More like CUTER than all the others! Sign me up to the mob, I’m not letting that hunk get away!

  3. Even if Luke doesn’t win a place in the blues as a reserve, he’ll still have won a place in my heart! <3 xoxo

  4. strongest 2nds team in Oxford sporting history? Have you been following the carnage that the water polo 2s have been causing in Rosenblatt? Take a hike triple C

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