MAX Davis delivered a scorching performance that left his rivals gasping to crown what has been a terrific summer for the Avon Valley Runners athlete.

Setting off on the fourth and final leg of the Cleeve 5K Festival of Running Road Relays, which incorporated the South West and Avon County Championships, Davis smashed the course record.

The 18-year-old tore around the 5k loop to become the first man to complete the distance in under 15 minutes as he clocked 14mins 48secs.

“I thought breaking the record (which stood at 15:30) was do-able but to run that fast was a bit of a surprise,” said Davis.

AVR coach Steve Williams was more effusive in his praise as he watched Davis conjure up a performance that confirms his emergence as one of the most exciting runners in the West Country.

Williams said: “Max’s time stunned everyone there.”

That’s because the previous record, set by British junior international Oliver Fox of Wells City, had already been broken twice before Davis set off.

Wells City runner Luke Prior had already broken the record with a 15:25 clocking on stage one, and then Bristol & West’s Harry Allen followed up his record-breaking victory in the Westbury 5k last week with a sizzling 15:10 on stage two.

Experienced watchers reckoned Allen’s time would be the new record for 2020 but they hadn’t reckoned with English Schools’ 3000m medallist Davis.

“When I heard Harry had run 15:10, I thought that was quick because it is actually quite a hard course with the final 3k uphill after a downhill start,” added Davis.

“I would definitely say that is one of my best runs on the road and it was a great way to end the season.”

Unfortunately Davis’ prize for setting the fastest time was the use for a weekend of a sports car complete a with a full tank of petrol – but he doesn’t drive yet.

“But my dad is pleased with that prize!” said Davis.

Davis’ blistering finish helped the AVR squad of Mike Towler, Tim Lowrie and Owen Lythell finish fifth overall.

In the women’s race, the club trio of Gemma Knudsen, Holly Newman and Bethan Francis placed seventh.

Men’s 4x5k: 1 Bristol & West AC 1:02.15 (David Awde 16:12, Harry Allen 15:10, Jack Bancroft 15;20, Andrew Chambers 15;33); 2 Wells City Harriers 1:05.34 (Luke Prior 15:25, Zak Hurrell 16:44, Chris Green 16:43, Sam Sommerville 16:42); 3 Clevedon AC 1:06.04 (Alex Crossland 15:47, Sam Tabberner 16:21, Robbie Stewart 17:19, Luke Murray 16:37); 4 B&W B 1:06.08; 5 Avon Valley Runners 1:08.19 (Mike Towler 16:06, Tim Lowrie 20:02, Owen Lythell 17:23, Max Davis 14:40);

6 B&W C 1:08.54; 7 Westbury Harriers 1:09.47; 8 Westbury M40s 1:10.28.

Fastest: Max Davis (U20) 14:48 (record); 2 Harry Allen 15:10; Jack Bancroft 15:20; Luke Prior 15:25.

Women’s 3x5k: 1 All Stars Open (guests) 53:02 (Charlotte Green 17:30, Rosie Hattersley 18:27, Gemma Steel 17:05); 2 Cornwall AC 55:59; 3 Cornwall AC B 57:51; 4 Westbury Harriers W35 58:00 (Vicky Tester 19:19, Catherine Treble 19:08, Lucy Richens 19:33).

7 Avon Valley Runners 60:55 (Gemma Knudsen 20:00, Holly Newman 21:15, Bethan Francis 19:40).

Fastest: Gemma Steel 17:05; Charlotte Taylor-Green 17:30; Heidi Tregenza (Cornwall) 18:08.

Men’s over 50s: 1 Bristol & West AC 54:57 (Tony Roper 17:46, Richard Bowles 19:45, Philip Parry 17:26); 2 Westbury Harriers 59:02; 3 B&W M60s 63:09.