Among a top-class field Lachlan Wellington showed his international class to win the South of England Cross Country title on Saturday at Parliament Hill.
The City of Portsmouth athlete was up against some major talents who have been shining recently, including his friend and rival Zak Mahamed, from Southampton, in the under-20 men’s race.
Those two led the charge before Wellington got clear to take the victory in style by 22 seconds (25.12) from Mahamed (25.34).
Third was Brighton’s Tomer Tarragano (25.38).
City coach Vince Stamp was thrilled for Wellington to get the big title he has been chasing.
He said: ‘We are all chuffed for him. He was so determined when he got away that he wasn’t going to get beaten in a sprint finish.
‘He’s had so many silver medals in the southerns and the nationals and lost out by a second, or less than a second.
‘This was a reward for him for sticking at it when he could have got disheartened, he has kept working for it.
‘His training partners and everyone who has followed his journey are so pleased for him.
Jacob O’Hara, who is coached by Steve Purser, finished an impressive 21st as he continued his good show in recent races and Adam Kimber finished 104th as he completed the club contingent in the age group.
City were led in the under-17 men’s race by an outstanding run from Callum Crook as he finished 25th.
Callum Millard ran strongly to finish 212th.
In the under-20 women’s race Katie Simister ran superbly to finish 35th and continue her superb winter.
City senior ladies all performed well.
They were led by Emma Jolley who finished in an excellent 82nd position with Emma Montiel also continuing her good recent form to take 97th and Katie Carew-Robinson was 360th as 703 women finished
The senior men’s race saw both Adam O’Hara, in 381st position, and Tony Hewett, who crossed the line in 1,057th, run well for City.