HOLLY Weedall’s triumph at the English National Cross Country Championships has not only enhanced her reputation, according to her coach.

Shaun McGrath told the Guardian that rivals will take note that Vale Royal Athletics Club are nurturing another emerging talent.

“It reminds people we can develop first-class endurance runners,” he said.

“Not only that, the fact it continues to happen shows that it hasn’t been a fluke in the past.”

Three athletes – Stevie Stockton, Charlotte Roach and Amelia Pettitt – had won individual medals previously at the annual event while wearing Vale Royal’s distinctive colours.

Stockton took silver on two occasions; in the junior women’s race in 2007 and then as a senior three years later.

Meanwhile Roach and Pettitt both claimed bronze as junior women in 2008 and 2015 respectively.

An under 15s boys’ team of Alfie Bould, John Humphries, Ben Lee and Oliver Waring was the first to win gold three years ago.

McGrath said: “It’s hard to understate what a huge achievement it is for a club of our size to win a gold medal at an event on that scale.

“There can only be 10 individual champions each year and the number of athletes in some of the races is pretty remarkable.

“At the start, they go back as far as the eye can see.”

Holly Smith ranked sixth in the under 17s girls’ race, a category in which she was fourth 12 months earlier.

There were notable performances too from Jake Wilson (under 15s boys) and Alice Gale (under 13s girls) who both classified inside the top 50 overall.