STEVIE Stockton has shown she is the best runner in the region - even wearing one shoe.

The Vale Royal Athletics Club star, running at the North of England Athletics Association Cross Country Championships, lost a spike half way around the 6km course but continued to finish first.

"I thought I'd lost it when my spike came off," she said.

"But I just gritted my teeth and kept on going."

She recorded the biggest winning margin of the day, with Lucy Mayho crossing the line 38 seconds later in the U20s women's race.

Coach Shaun McGrath is running out of superlatives for the 17-year-old.

"I was quite emotional afterwards," he told the Guardian on Monday.

"Stevie is just dynamite."

Giving away three years of strength and experience to most of her rivals, Stockton led from gun to tape to win in style. Her victory helped Vale Royal AC to team gold in the category at Manchester's Heaton Park.

Charlotte Roach, Becky Ellis and Kate Spilsbury joined her on the podium.

And they weren't the only ones celebrating as the U15s girls trio, consisting of Rebecca Craigie, Kathy Stringer, Emily Furber and Hannah Paver also grabbed gold. Craigie claimed individual bronze in the same race.

Andy Clews was the top male performer on the day, finishing fifth in the U15s boys race, while Stephen Mitchell crossed the line 16th in a tough U20s men's category.

"It's fantastic for us to win four medals at an event of this importance," said McGrath.

For a full round up of how Vale Royal athletes fared on Saturday, turn to page 50.