Kenilworth Runners finished the first race of the Birmingham League at Newbold Comyn in an excellent sixth place in Division One thanks to a tightly packed team performance.
The six scoring runners were separated by just 44 seconds, finishing between 40th and 69th position.
Phil Gould, revelling in the heavy conditions, was the first Kenilworth Runner home in a time of 37min 4sec for the approximately 10k course, which took in two ascents of Beacon Hill.
Gould just overhauled team-mate Chris McCarthy in the run-in as both managed to hold off the fast-finishing Paul Andrew.
Another three seconds back in 37:12 was Rich Simkiss ahead of the improving Stephen Page (37:20), with the reliable Stuart Hopkins (37:48) completing the team counters.
With 33 runners competing and strong support, particularly in the middle order, Kenilworth had an excellent all-round club performance and this showed with the B team finishing in fourth position on the day.
There were several newcomers to cross-country, including Steve Marr, Angus Duncan, Wayne Briggs and Colin Bailey and all performed well.
The race winner was Ed Shepherd of Birmingham University in 33:09.
Competing in Division Two, Leamington C&AC were fifth, but only eight points off the promotion places.
Guy Allen was the first Leamington runner home in eighth place in 36:23, closely followed by Jamie Langley who was three places and 19 seconds back.
Callum Hanlon was 17th (and fourth junior) in 37:35 with Richard Merrell 42nd (39:17) and George Loveday 55th (39:41).
Jack Savage, who was making his senior debut, completed the A team in 64th place in a time of 40:16.
Another junior, Jonathon Brown, led home the B team in 40:33 for 69th place, followed by Craig Bower (80th) whose time of 41:09 was five seconds faster than Eoin O’Flynn (81st).
The team was completed by Tristan Warren (88th in 41:29), Tom Fullerton (93rd in 41:43) and Matt Butler (107th in 42:40).
The race was won by Lee Slater of Dudley & Stourbridge in 34:15.
There was a record field of 369 for the Midland Ladies’ League fixture, beating the previous mark by more than 100 athletes.
Spa Striders made their league debut but it was Leamington C&AC who finished the best of the three district teams.
Teenager Megan McDonald, making her first run in the senior ranks, was 41st in 26:21, with Zara Blower 30 second back in 57th.
Angela Chahal completed the scoring team in 28:12 as C&AC finished 14th out of 40 teams.
Kenilworth Runners fielded 15 runners and finished 20th senior team and eighth masters’ team out of 31.
The senior team was led by Imogen Peace who finished in 72nd position in a time of 27:40, followed by Louise Andrews, who seemed to be smiling the whole way round the course, finishing in 114th position in 29:00 and Courtney Thornberry (120th in 29:17).
Peace and Andrews also made up the masters’ team with ladies’ captain Sara Habib who finished 161st in 30:37.
The team was ably supported by cross-country newcomer Laura Pettifer, Danielle Mohacsi and Lucy Heather.
Laura Peake (99th) was the first Strider home in 28:41, followed by Carolyn Wilkinson (102nd) in 28:52 and Jennie Hawkins (112th) in 28:57.
Striders finished 22nd in the senior ladies’ and ninth masters’ team.
The race was won by Great Britain international Jess Judd from Loughborough Students in 22:46.
Kenilworth Runners collected 13 trophies at the Warwickshire Road Race League presentations on Monday.
Andrew Siggers collected trophies for the overall series men’s winner and also senior men’s category winner, Phil Gould won the V35 category trophy and was also third overall in the series and Dave Pettifer took home the V65 award.
Kenilworth’s men’s teams completed a clean sweep, taking both the senior men’s and veteran men’s trophies.
Kenilworth’s senior ladies were pushed down to second place by Spa Striders, who also claimed age category wins courtesy of Jo Kirby, Jude Baum and Sue Cox.
Striders’ women’s masters also took first place, with their men’s team finishing third overall.