Thames Valley Harriers had a taste of what might be coming their way in the summer when Frank Ticknerwon the 12km senior men's race at the English Cross Country Championships at Hampstead Heath.
Tickner, of Wells City AC, is joining the Harriers in the summer and if he can reproduce his form at Parliament Hill on the track in the British Men's League, the Harriers will be delighted.
Tickner triumphed in a record field of 1,455 finishers.
Chris Smith was first home in Valley colours in 21st position with a time of 40.24. It is his favourite course and he won the London Championships there in December.
Next men home were Steve Norris in 443rd position (48.57) and Matt Ponting in 626th (51.35). Not far behind him was team captain Phil Wetton, 654th (52.00).
The other team scorers were Richard Bell 885th (55.37) and Simon Maddison 1,232nd (1.01.59) as the team finished a lowly 59th.
Harriers' only senior woman competitor was Lisa Da Silva, who finished 60th in 34.02 from a field of 546.
In the U20 men's race, Mohamud Adaan was 122nd (41.20), Stephanie Ainley was 80th in the U20 women's race (24.02), Matt Myers 144th (23.43) in the U17 race.
In the U17 women's race, Joanna Mobed fell near the half-way point and lost 12 places, but got up to finish a very respectful 21st in 21.20 from 184 finishers.
TVH's three U15 Girls all had good runs. Katherine Spooner beat Sasha Tory for the first time to come 60th in 16.36. Tory was 63rd in 16.38. Newcomer Hebe Foster did well to finish 222nd in 18.46 from 260 fnishers.
Nabil Toumi was determined not to be last again after last week's race and every time he passed someone in the boys' U15 race they dropped out. Even so, there were 10 boys behind his 388th place which took him 23.29.
Kyle Kenrick was disappointed with his 353rd position in 20.43. Zewede Hamid led the U13 boys' team to 36th place. He is also relatively new to cross country and finished 162nd in 13.49. Next home was Oliver Berg (221st in 14.19). Brothers Joe and Sam Cooper made up the team. Joe was 289th (15.08), Sam 330th (16.03) from 356 finishers.
U13 Aneta Jaskulska afinished near the back of the field in 321st place (17.14).
Although not one of TVH's best days, they at least had the satisfaction of entering competitors in all 10 races.