VALE Royal Athletics Club's under 15s girls have lit up the national stage again – this time while representing Cheshire.

Holly Weedall's third-place finish and bronze medal as she returned to top form in the UK County Athletic Union Inter-County Cross Country Championships contributed hugely to the team winning gold at Prestwold Hall in Loughborough on Saturday.

Winsford Guardian:

Holly Weedall in race mode and on the winners' podium. Pictures: Robert Brown

Winsford Guardian:

That team included the Weaverham High School student's clubmates Grace Roberts, who was fifth, and Hope Smith, 15th, along with West Cheshire's Carys Roberts, 23rd, over the 4300m course

Their total of 46 points saw them finish ahead of Yorkshire, 101 points, and Berkshire, 107 points.

County teams from all over England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland gathered to battle for the titles on the rolling Leicestershire hills which were mired with soft, cloying mud – making for tough underfoot conditions with many competitors losing their spikes throughout the day.

The day had started off with the 9100m under 20s men’s race.

Alex Doyle of Vale Royal AC was first man home for Cheshire, finishing in a fantastic 12th place among a field of 179.

The Cheshire team came 14th with Jack Wadsworth and Ben Webb, both of Warrington AC, and Sion Roberts, of West Cheshire AC, finishing in 70th, 103rd and 126th places respectively.

Not to be outdone, clubmate Raif Serif finished 12th in the 6000m under 17s men’s race, again being first man home for Cheshire.

The team came 15th overall of 39 teams that completed the race, with Finlay Proffitt of Macclesfield Harriers, Sam Stephens of Vale Royal AC and Joe Roberts of Warrington AC taking 48th, 140th and 164th places in a field of 265.

In the under 15s boys' 4300m race, Jamie Richardson of West Cheshire AC finished ninth, William Sutcliffe of Wirral AC took 56th place while Dylan Carney of Vale Royal AC was 63rd.

Sammy Hollins of West Cheshire AC rounded out the team in 221st place. The team finished 15th overall.

The under 13s boys' race over 3400m saw Robbie Price of Vale Royal AC continue his promising winter form to be second home for the county with a 36th place finish in a field of 293 athletes.

Teammate Harry Parker-McLain of Crewe & Nantwich AC came in 25th while Jack Marwood of Warrington AC came 37th and Dylan McGrath of Macclesfield Harriers was 112th. The team placed ninth of 40 teams.

In the under 20s women’s race, Chloe Leather of Crewe & Nantwich AC took 12th place in a field of 136 over a distance of 6000m.

Megan Finn of Sale Harriers was 20th while Lauren Robinson of Stockport Harriers was 109th and Ellie Grinnell of Vale Royal AC 113th to secure the team 12th place overall.

Lara Crawford of Sale Harriers was first home for Cheshire in the 5300m under 17s women’s race with a 23rd place finish.

Sian Hislop of Macclesfield Harriers was 56th while Jessica Connolly of Warrington AC came 118th and Rebecca Main also of Macclesfield Harriers 141st of 272 finishers. The team was 18th overall.

Warrington AC duo, Alice Nicholson and Imogen Wharton finished 98th and 172nd respectively in the 3400m under 13s girls' race which saw the largest field of the day with 306 runners finishing.

West Cheshire AC’s Jessica Lark and Vale Royal AC’s Lana Booth completed the team with 124th and 199th places respectively.

In the senior women’s 11,200m race, Vicki Cronin of Trafford AC was first home for the county in 61st place closely followed by Diane McVey of Wilmslow and Donna Sherwin of City of Stoke AC finishing in 67th and 70th places respectively.

Sarah Hunter of Ackworth Road Runners came in at 133rd while Nicola Reece also of Wilmslow AC and Helen Smith of Vale Royal AC completed the team with 145th and 181st places in a field of 257. The ladies took 14th team position.

The final race with predictably the worst conditions was the senior men’s 11,200m race.

Cheshire’s team finished 11th overall, being led by Liverpool Harrier Dan Cliffe who finished in an excellent 15th place.

James Wignall of Sale Harriers was next over the line in 72nd place.

Young Chris Larkin of Halton & Frodsham AC was close behind in 81st place and Trafford AC’s Simon O’Meara crossed the line in 109th.

Vale Royal AC duo, Arun Dight and veteran Stu Doyle, rounded out the six-man team with 115th and 135th place finishes.