BURTON Athletic Club had four of their athletes on show at the English Schools' Track and Field Championships at Birmingham's Alexander Stadium.
Although some may remember the days when the area regularly produced more, the stringent qualifying standards of the last few decades have made any selection at all a rarity.
More encouraging still was the fact that two of the four will still be in their respective age group next year.
One of these, representing Staffordshire, was Callum Abberley, who did so well at cross country last winter where he was ranked eighth in Britain.
Now against older boys over a shorter distance, he was far from disgraced in his junior 1500m heat (10th, 4.26.59). Five seconds quicker would have qualified him for the final and he was probably the fastest in his own year.
Also a Staffordshire junior next year was Rebecca Sheffield in the 75m hurdles. In her heat she appeared to be running to form, in a qualifying position, when she clipped the sixth hurdle and lost her rhythm. She still finished fifth.
Leicestershire's Gemma Holland went with previous experience, but that was in the intermediate shot put.
She could have done that again but decided on her natural event, the hammer. In the first of two pools she was 80cm from qualifying for the final with 41.20m – not bad considering she had hardly touched the hammer for a year.
Jack Simpson (Staffs, Junior Boys) was expected to have the best local chance of reaching a final as he was ranked eighth in Britain at 800m.
He was in the first of three heats with two from each to qualify with the two fastest losers. Appearing to have a good chance towards the end, he was narrowly beaten into third at the line.
However, his luck turned as every runner from the later heats was slower than Simpson's time of 2.02.9.
In the final, with much contact and stumbling, he faded to eighth – nevertheless an excellent result.