ETHAN Bevis shone for victorious Hampshire at the Southern Schools’ Inter-Counties Championships.
Bevis came home fourth in the intermediate boys’ race over 4.4km in the wind and rain at Southampton Sports Centre.
His 15min 33sec time saw the City of Portsmouth talent play a key role in his county securing a team victory.
Hampshire defeated Surrey with a team win of 33 points from their top five finishers.
At junior level, Elizabeth Hedley finished 13th for her county over 2.8km.
Hedley clocked a time of 10.39, with Maisie Grice coming home 22nd in 10.58.
City’s Elizabeth Rose was 23rd in 19.58, while Bobbie Davies was 45th (11.20) and Anya Pigden 47th (11.22)
In the senior category, City’s Tom McSwayne finished 22nd (20.16), while club-mate Matt Smith crossed the line in 37th (20.25) over 5.4km.
Lauren McCarthy was 31st for the senior girls over 3.4km in a time of 14.12.
The junior boys was well stocked with City runners as Hampshire finished second behind Berkshire.
Ted Yeates finished an impressive 16th (12.08), with Lachlan Wellington 18th (12.11).
Team-mates Will Wall crossed the line in 58th, with Harry Moore 60th, Stephen Cross 79th and Adam Kimber coming home in 84th place.
In the intermediate girls’ race, Ellie Czura finished 40th over 3.4km.
Portsmouth Schools’ team manager, Pat Butcher, praised Bevis’ efforts in the mud.
Butcher said: ‘Ethan was excellent.
‘He’s doing exceptionally well at the moment.
‘He is training hard and I’m very pleased for him.
‘Ethan now stands a really good chance of being selected for the English Schools.
‘He finished really well. He was 26th in the Southern Counties’ Championship as a bottom year recently, too.
‘Elizabeth Hedley also ran very well, as a bottom year.
‘There were some solid performances.’
Those who performed well in Southampton will be hoping to see themselves included in the Hampshire squad in the English Schools’ Championships.
That is earmarked to take place at Castle Donnington on March 15.
But selectors will have to take into account athletes missing on Saturday, as the weather ruled out some from being involved.
Butcher praised the young athletes who battled it out in the wind and mud.
And she felt organisers did superbly to get the event under way in the poor weather.
‘It was pretty grim and very slippery,’ said Butcher.
‘It was a job to stand up, it was so windy.
‘The organisers had to work hard to get something cobbled together.
‘I’ve never seen it so sticky at Southampton Sports Centre.
‘But, as it’s the selection for the English Schools, it was important it took place.
‘It’s a wait to see who will be selected now for those involved.
‘We’re crossing our fingers – and hoping for better weather!’