VALE Royal Athletics Club are celebrating after three of their youngsters brought home a national title.

Hope Smith, Holly Weedall and Grace Roberts teamed up to storm to victory at the National Road Relay Championships in the girls’ under 17s age groups.

They finished 11 seconds clear of their nearest rivals to win the gold medals, with Weedall and Roberts running the fastest second and third-leg times respectively.

Smith led the team off and finished her leg in 13mins 58secs before handing over to Weedall, who quickly stormed into the lead.

She finished in 13mins 22secs before handing onto her fellow Sir John Deane’s College pupil Roberts, who went two seconds faster to secure the win.

Their success crowned a great day for Vale Royal, who were the first Cheshire club home in every category they entered in Sutton Coldfield.

The under 15s boys’ team of Rhys Bowden, Tom Taylor and Robbie Price teamed up to take home a bronze medal which was inches away from being silver.

Bowden (13mins 17secs) handed over in 14th place and Taylor (13mins 31secs) improved to fifth, but it was Price who really propelled them into contention.

He ran the fastest leg of anyone in the race as he clocked 12mins 7secs to earn them a medal.


From left, Robbie Price, Tom Taylor and Rhys Bowden

From left, Robbie Price, Tom Taylor and Rhys Bowden


The senior women’s team finished 14th in a field of 68, with Tessa McCormick, Sarah Dufour-Jackson, Amelia Pettitt and Sarah Murphy making up the team.

Having qualified via a 10th-place finish at the Northern Championships last month, the senior men’s team finished in 32nd place against the top teams in the country.

Matt Rowlinson, Andy Miles, Raif Serif, Aaron Doyle, Ed Pettitt and Alex Doyle made up the team.

Vale Royal will now await the start of the cross country relay season, with the Northern Cross Country Relays to be held in Sheffield on October 23.