VALE Royal Athletics Club hope to add to their previous medals haul during Saturday’s English National Cross Country Championships at Wollaton Park.
Great Britain international Katie Brough, tenth in the senior women’s race last year, is one athlete out to improve on a personal milestone at the Nottinghamshire venue.
The 31-year-old has enjoyed an encouraging cross country campaign, including victory in the UK Cross Challenge opener at Bristol in October.
She followed that with a top 30 finish, and with it team gold, for Great Britain at the European Cross Country Championships in Serbia.
Also with an eye on going better than previously is Elliot Bowker, who represented England in Spain last month.
The Sir John Deane’s College student was sixth in the under 17s boys’ category 12 months ago, the third time he has finished in that position at the national championships.
Vale Royal have never had a male win a medal at the event, a statistic Bowler – along with teammates Daniel Morrison, Jon Owen, Matt Rowlinson, Matthew Sheen and Sam Whitehead – will want to correct.
Tessa McCormick, another to wear England’s colours in Seville during January, leads the club’s challenge in the junior women’s class along with Amelia Pettitt.
Those two have won team medals – bronze and silver – at previous editions including third place in the category during last year’s race.
Amy Hinchly, classified inside the top 40 in the under 17s girls race in 2013, is another hoping to rank higher by calling on previous experience.
Vale Royal’s last individual medal at the championships arrived in 2010, when Stevie Stockton was runner-up in the senior women’s race.
More than 7,700 athletes have entered this year’s edition across 10 age categories, with racing scheduled to start at 11am.