VALE Royal Athletics Club’s Cheshire Cross Country Championships bid proved to be successful across the board on the muddy Knight’s Grange Fields in Winsford on Saturday.

The host club fielded 104 athletes from under 11s through to seniors.

First up was a combined under 11s boys and girls’ race over 1600m and with it came Vale Royal’s first of 30 medals.

Will Godwin, Ben Lowe and James Pope took the bronze team medal by finishing 9th, 11th and 13th respectively.

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Winsford Guardian:

James Pope

Winsford Guardian:

Will Godwin

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Ben Lowe

The girls also took a bronze team medal but went one better with Elise Fawkes taking the silver individual gong. Teammates Nancy Carrington and Leah Smith secured the team position, coming home in 11th and 15th respectively.

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Elise Fawkes

Next to impress in a combined under 13s boys and girls’ race over 3000m was Robbie Price, winning the gold medal. With Robbie’s teammates Theo Wassall and Rhys Bowden crossing the line in 9th and 10th, the silver team medal was secured.

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Under 13s boys Robbie Price, Theo Wassall and Rhys Bowden. Picture: Lisa Meadows

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Theo Wassall

For the girls, Sophie Harding was third over the line, while Lana Booth and Eva Jha finished in 4th and 8th places to claim team silver.

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Sophie Harding

Vale Royal’s first team gold medals came in the combined 4100m under 15s boys and girls’ race, where Jake Wilson was closely beaten to earn a silver individual medal and teammates Patrick Griffith and Dylan Carney took 4th and 5th places.

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Jake Wilson, Patrick Griffith and Dylan Carney. Picture: Renee Carney

The under 15s girls dominated their race on Saturday.

Grace Roberts took gold while Holly Weedall and Hope Smith secured silver and bronze, while together they won the team gold. Teammates Isobel Ashcroft, Alice Gale and Ellie Bushill finished in 6th, 7th and 8th to earn the silver team medal for Vale Royal as well.

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Under 15s team gold winners Hope Smith, Grace Roberts, Holly Weedall

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Grace Roberts. Picture: Robert Brown

The next race, over a 5400m course, saw the under 17s men combine with the under 17s and under 20s women. Another 1, 2, 3 and team gold was bagged in the under 17s men, achieved by Raif Serif, William Ashfield and Ed Pettitt.

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Under 17s Raif Serif, Ed Pettitt and Will Ashfield. Picture: Richard Pettitt

In the under 20s women’s race, Holly Smith took gold.

She will be one of two Vale Royal athletes competing for the North of England team at the televised Great Stirling Cross Country event on Saturday. Senior woman Amelia Pettitt has also been selected.

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Holly Smith. Picture: Robert Brown

Moving up the distance to 8000m, the under 20s men competed alongside the senior women. Brothers Alex and Aaron Doyle battled to silver and bronze medals respectively.

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Aaron Doyle

In the women’s race, Sarah Murphy came home in third place. Teammates Katie Brough, finishing in 11th, and Helen Smith, in 14th, secured a team silver medal. They also took team gold in the veteran’s category. Individually, Katie was 1st V35 and Helen was 1st V50.

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Helen Smith

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Katie Brough

The senior men completed four large laps of the fields, totalling 10500m.

The race at the very front was between Liverpool Harrier’s Daniel Cliffe and Sale Harrier’s Nigel Martin and James Wignall, with that being the finishing order.

Twenty-year-old Harry Dexter battled through to 4th spot and teammates Arun Dight, Stuart Doyle and Josh Betteley packed well in 8th, 9th and 10th places. Nathan Williams and Mark Crabtree made up the required six-man team in 14th and 17th places to secure gold for Vale Royal AC.

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Harry Dexter

In the veteran’s category, Vale also won the team gold with Stuart Doyle, Mark Crabtree, Duncan Harris and Rick Murray comprising the team. Individually, Stuart was 1st V45 and Duncan was 1st V50.