Herts Phoenix made gloopy mud seem like a manicured lawn as they stormed to success after success in the Metropolitan Cross-country League.

Trent Park was the venue for the final round and not for the first time this season, half of the day's races were won by Phoenix athletes.

Lizzie Janes took her third league victory of the campaign with a convincing win in the senior women's race while Tabitha Woodhouse's 20th position capped an excellent season with another first place in the U20 category.

Sandwiched between Grace Mason (36th) and Meisha Trend-Evans (57th) was Deborah Rushman (39th) who made a welcome return to league action to finish first in the V55 category.

It all meant that the team won every race this season and will compete in the top tier for the very first time next season.

Oscar Bell and Brett Rushman led a one-two in the senior men's event while Jonathon Haynes was first in the V65 category.

In the end a full quota completed the race to get the men's team fifth on the day and securing their Division Two status for next season.

Joshua Maiden had kicked things off when he took first place in the U11 boys' race, winning the overall prize too.

Luke Dunham then picked up his fourth league race win of the campaign to rack up maximum points and triumph in the overall junior men's competition.

Keira Shaw came second in the junior women's race but that was enough to take the overall win.

It has been fine margins all winter among the U13 boys and never more so than at Trent Park.

Jake Summers finished less than half a second behind the race winner but is another who has shown improvement over the season and thoroughly deserves his second place overall.

Amelie Axam left it all out on the course to finish 13th in the U13 girls' race with Olivia Croft in 18th and in the top half.

New club members Rosa Court and Jessica Lane both made their league debut in the most difficult of conditions and will add much needed depth to the junior women team next season.

Overall a total of 69 athletes represented the club in the season, running in more than 40 races across the age groups.

The Howard Williams trophies are awarded to reward the strongest overall club in the league.

Out of 19 clubs, Herts Phoenix juniors repeated the excellent fifth place they secured last season while the seniors finished fifth out of 24 clubs.

That is the highest the senior team has ever finished and a full 10 places better than 2022.