Wells City Harriers' Frank Tickner ran for TeamGB at last weekend’s European Cross-Country Championships in Belgrade.
Tickner finished 47th in his fifth appearance at the championships and was part of the British team that had one of its best results, topping the medal table with nine in total.
His next target is to develop his form in the British Cross Challenge races and build towards the South of England Championships in January and the National XC Championships in February, where he has won twice before.
Meanwhile, dad Ed Tickner was one of nearly 70 Harriers at the combined Somerset Cross-Country Championships and Gwent League meeting at the University of Bath.
In dry conditions, the Harriers came away with nine of the 13 individual gold medals on offer, with winners ranging from 11 to 61 years old.
The novices were first up in the under-11 development races over 1.9km. William Carr led the way for the boys in 7mins 15secs, with David Sidman finishing in 7:31.
In the girls’ race, Abbie Carr was the first Somerset runner home in 7:03, ahead of team-mates Lilly Clarke (7:35), Tilly Cox-Thompson, (8:32) and Jasmine Caley (8:36).
The first of the Harriers’ Somerset gold medals came in the under-13 boys’ race, where Niall Caley completed the 2.8km course in 10:05. That was five seconds ahead of Dylan Dukes, with Harrison Jones not far behind.
They were followed by Luke Macpherson (10:20), Ollie Thorner (10:21), Chris Ellis (10:32), Kieran Ensor (11:02), Will Pate (11:13), Ben Hoskings (11:13) and Tom Loader (11:31), with several of the Harriers competing in a team event for the first time.
A strong squad of under-13 girls also represented the club, with Elena Sidman winning the Somerset title and finishing second overall in 10:08.
Harriet Fox (10:41) came home eighth, with Elise Thorner 11th (10:43), Connie Little 48th (12:02), Rachel Packard 59th (12:30), Georgia Rogers 73rd (13:28) and Jess Ainsworth 76th (13:46).
The under-15 boys’ race took place over 3.9km, with James Bridge winning Somerset gold for the Harriers in 12:27. Team-mate Bradley Seager took bronze in 12:43.
Johnny Ellis was next in for the Harriers with 13:11 ahead of fellow Harriers Josh Thorne, Finn Day, Alex Williams, Joseph Davies and Joe Heath.
Caitlin Carnegie took under-15 girls’ silver in the Somerset competition on her debut for the Harriers, finishing ninth overall in 14:02.
Lucy Baldwin was 16th in 14:39, with Kirsty Jenkins 25th in 15:12 Amy D’Arcy 30th in 15:33, Natasha Jones 39th and Jodie Mitchell 44th in 17:17.
Oliver Fox won Somerset gold in the under-17 men’s race, with Isobel Glaisher taking top spot in the joint under-17/under-20 women’s race in 16:29.
Emily Smith was the first of the under-20 runners home in 16:52 to add another Somerset gold to the Harriers’ tally.
The other club finishers were Rebecca Carver (18:53), Lilly Hawkins (19:14) and Hermione Toomey (19:42), who took bronze in the Wiltshire competition.
Fox led from start to finish for his gold, finishing the 5.9km course in 17:17. Sam Sommerville celebrated his birthday with Somerset silver in 17:49 and Luke Prior completed a Harriers clean sweep in 18:24.
Philip Bridge picked up bronze in the men’s under-20 race in 18:39, ahead of team-mates Sam Bedford (19:37) and Felix Rusby (19:50).
In the senior women’s race, Debbie Glover struck gold in a time of 22:51 for the 5.9km course, with Katrina Prior taking silver in 23:04.
Jon James came home 19th in a field of more than 400 in the men’s competition but the gold rush continued as Steve Masters (74th) and Ed Tickner (236th) won the V50 and V60 categories respectively.
The county championships were co-ordinated for the sixth year by Harriers chairman Paul Chadwick, who thanked club-mates Hannah, Julia, Clive and Helen for their help on the finish line.
Harrier members are reminded to check the club website – www.wellscityharriers.org.uk – for training sessions over the next four weeks and note the deadline for the Regional Championship events.