A THRILLING race between two of Vale Royal Athletics Club’s rising stars was a highlight of last weekend’s Cheshire Track and Field Championships at Warrington.
Holly Weedall edged out teammate Grace Roberts to take gold in the under 13s girls’ 1,200m, both of them beating a competition record of 3.55.83 set 12 months earlier.
It leaves the duo ranked one and two respectively in the UK for their age group.
Weedall, a student at Weaverham High School, celebrated a middle-distance double after winning over 800m the previous day.
However Roberts had to settle for bronze after being pipped in the final few metres by fast-finishing Imogen Pughe (West Cheshire AC).
“They’re pushing each other to go even faster,” said coach Shaun McGrath.
“It’s not a rivalry as such, because they’re good friends, but they regularly beat each other. It seems to spur them both on!”
Vale Royal claimed 11 golds over two days of competition at Victoria Park, where they accumulated 29 medals in total.
Other highlights included a comfortable win for Lucy Smith in the under 17s girls’ 3,000m in 10.29.51, narrowly outside a marker she must reach to qualify for the English Schools’ Track and Field Championships this summer.
Vale Royal Athletics Club's Harry Edgar, wearing 11, in action during the under 17s boys' 100m final at the Cheshire Track and Field Championships last weekend. Picture: Paul Heaps
Alex Doyle (4.16.10) and Holly Smith (4.45.87) won the boys’ and girls’ 1,500m titles respectively in the same age category after both clocked personal-best times, while Ryan Moore (4.16.87) won the senior men’s race for the distance.
In the field, Jordan Kelly (37.47m) and Connie Seiler (24.03m) took first prize in the under 17s discus finals.
Meanwhile Megan Evans’ throw of 31.16m was far enough to secure gold in the under 15s girls’ javelin.
Elsewhere Weaverham High School student George Hyde, representing West Cheshire, won the under 17s boys’ shot with a championship best putt of 16.95m.
A previous benchmark for the age category was set by John Nicholls, then of Warrington Athletics Club, some 35 years ago.
It is a personal best too for the reigning English schools’ champion.
Jenny Pyatt, a student at St Nicholas RC High School competing for Liverpool Pembroke & Sefton Harriers, claimed the under 20s women’s discus title with a throw of 41.75m.
That improved on a championship best she claimed last year.
Former Vale Royal member Cameron Duff, now at Warrington, squeezed out Harry Edgar (11.75s) to win the under 17s boys’ 100m final.
The Grange School student then added the 200m title the next day.
Cheshire Track and Field Championships (selected Vale Royal AC members)
Saturday, May 13 and Sunday, May 14
Victoria Park, Warrington
Men’s 5,000m: 3. Gareth Williams 17.40.81; 5. David Haines 20.13.77
Men’s 3,000m: 4. James Ainsworth 9.52.99; 5. Mike Harrington 10.12.82
Women’s 3,000m: 3. Lisa Meadows 12.59.26
Men’s 1,500m: 1. Ryan Moore 4.16.87; 2. Stuart Doyle 4.32.79
Men’s 200m: 4. Luke Seiler 26.21s
Women’s 3,000m: 2. Sophie Smith 11.05.86; 3. Esme Bridge 11.15.92 (pb)
Women’s 1,500m: 3. Chloe Dooley 5.12.22
Girls’ 3,000m: 1. Lucy Smith 10.29.51 (pb); 2. Caitlin Dimmick 11.03.01 (pb)
Boys’ 1,500m: 1. Alex Doyle 4.16.10 (pb); 4. Aaron Doyle 4.54.51 (pb); 5. Sam Washington 5.17.74 (pb)
Girls’ 1,500m: 1. Holly Smith 4.45.87 (pb)
Boys’ 800m: 8. Will McKay 2.11.77 (pb)
Boys’ 100m: 2. Harry Edgar 11.75s; 8. Sam Washington 13.33s (pb)
Boys’ discus: 1. Jordan Kelly 37.47m (pb)
Girls’ discus: 1. Connie Seiler 24.03
Boys’ long jump: 2. Logan Fern 6.09m (pb)
Boys’ 1,500m: 2. Ed Pettitt 4.36.51 (pb); 4. Will Ashfield 4.45.50 (pb); 9. Wilf Dight 5.10.92 (pb)
Boys’ 200m: 7. Nathan Stapleton 27.60s (pb)
Girls’ 200m: 6. Megan Wall 30.59s
Girls’ 100m: 7. Simar Hare 14.65s; 8. Megan Wall 14.66s (pb)
Girls’ discus: 3. Megan Wall 14.38m (pb)
Girls’ high jump: 5. Simar Hare 1.40m
Boys’ javelin: 2. Jacob Vass 23.20m (pb)
Girls’ javelin: 1. Megan Evans 31.16m; 2. Megan Henshall 24.50
Girls’ long jump: 2. Simar Hare 5.15m (pb)
Boys’ 1,500m: 2. Patrick Griffith 4.54.44 (pb); 12. Harry Godwin 5.30.56
Girls’ 1,200m: 1. Holly Weedall 3.50.21 (CBP); 2. Grace Roberts 3.52.22 (pb); 15. Tarlia Higginbotham 4.43.34 (pb); 16. Thea Smith 4.46.61 (pb); 17. Tilly Gibbs 4.49.33 (pb)
Boys’ 800m: 5. Dylan Carney 2.34.97; 9. Harry Godwin 2.43.11 (pb)
Girls’ 800m: 1. Holly Weedall 2.27.05 (pb); 3. Grace Roberts 2.30.14; 7. Alice Gale 2.44.67; 11. Tarlia Higginbotham 2.52.92 (pb); 12. Tilly Gibbs 2.54.35 (pb)
Girls’ 150m: 6. Emma Holmes 21.83s
Boys’ 100m final: 8. Ben Thorn 14.79s (pb)
Girls’ 75m final: 4. Olivia Rayson 11.07s (pb); 7. Scarlett Stapleton 11.50s
Boys’ discus: 1. Ben Thorn 20.36m (pb)
Boys’ javelin: 2. Ben Thorn 27.25m (pb); 4. Harry Godwin 21.57m (pb)
Boys’ long jump: 5. Harry Godwin 3.90m (pb); 8. Oli Washington 3.60m (pb); 9. Ben Thorn 3.44m
Boys’ shot: 1. Ben Thorn 5.85m
Girls’ discus: 4. Tilly Gibbs 14.20m (pb)
Girls’ high jump: 7. Emma Holmes 1.15m (pb)
Girls’ javelin: 4. Tilly Gibbs 15.36m
Girls’ long jump: 7. Scarlett Stapleton 3.79m; 8. Olivia Rayson 3.56m (pb); 9. Emma Holmes 3.49m
Key: (pb) personal best; (CBP) championship best performance