EIGHT Vale Royal Athletics Club runners flew the flag for the area in the English Schools Athletics Championships at the weekend.

Holly Weedall, Isobel Ashcroft, Grace Roberts, Patrick Griffith, Dylan Carney, Alice Gale, Robbie Price and Eva Jha all impressively earned their spots at the Sportcity Stadium finale in Manchester after achieving the required standard times.

Five of them contested finals, an achievement in itself, and although gave their all in performances for Cheshire no medals were brought home on this occasion, though they all have the chance to compete again next year if they achieve the times necessary in the 2023 season.

Weaverham High School student Jha achieved the best finish out of the Vale Royal contingent, beating her personal best in 1500m twice over the weekend – firstly in her Friday heat and then in Saturday's final, in which she finished fifth.

She started off trailing the field in the final but put in a great last lap.

Weedall and Ashcroft both ran in the senior girls' 1500m final, with the former immediately storming to the front in an attempt to draw out the speed of the fast finishers.

The plan worked well for three laps but with 200m to go the pack caught her and she finished a valiant sixth.

Ashcroft, in her first English Schools Championships appearance, finished 12th just a few seconds outside her personal best.

Roberts cointested the senior girls' 3000m final in the intense heat of early Saturday afternoon and looked competitive for several laps but could not keep up with a surge in the closing kilometre and crossed the line 18th.

In the intermediate boys' 1500m final, Price, who had not felt 'right' the previous day when qualifying from his heat in fourth place, again struggled to stay with the field and came home 12th.


Eva Jha, junior girls 1500m heat 2, 2nd, 4:35.97 (PB); final, 5th 4:35.84 (PB)

Robbie Price, intermediate boys 1500m heat 1, 4th, 4:06.07; final, 12th, 4:14.55

Alice Gale, intermediate girls 800m, heat 2, 5th, 2:16.26 (PB)

Patrick Griffith, senior boys 800m, heat one, 5th, 1:56.80

Dylan Carney, senior boys 800m, heat two, 7th, 1:56.52

Holly Weedall, senior girls 1500m final, 6th, 4:32.92

Isobel Ashcroft, senior girls 1500m final, 12th, 4:48.16

Grace Roberts, senior girls 3000m final, 18th, 10:12.33