SAM Evans continued his fine start to a new year by claiming Vale Royal Athletics Club’s only individual medal at the Northern Cross Country Championships.

The in-form teenager, who claimed a sixth successive county title earlier this month, was third in the under 15s boys’ race at Knowsley Safari Park.

He sat second for the most part, only to be overtaken by Tommy Dawson (Leeds City AC) in the closing stages when testing conditions underfoot took a toll.

Alfie Bould, who classified inside the top 20, Ed Pettitt and Aaron Doyle were counters in a Vale Royal Athletics Club quartet that ranked fifth in the team standings.

A second medal, also bronze, was brought home by the club’s under 17s boys.

Alex Doyle, newly-crowned county champion Arun Dight and Harry Dexter crossed the line inside the first 25 before Oliver Waring made sure they pipped Morpeth Harriers to a medal.

On a testing course, left sodden by heavy morning rain, Vale Royal’s junior men – led by ninth-placed Matthew Sheen – narrowly missed out on a medal after finishing in fourth position.

There were notable individual performances by Holly Smith, sixth in the under 15s girls’ age group after being in contention for a top-three finish earlier on, and Caitlin Dimmick – who showed impressive form to classify 13th in the under 17s girls’ category.

Holly Weedall, eighth, and 11th-placed Grace Roberts led the way for Vale Royal among the under 13s girls. Among the senior women, Sarah Murphy was the first of the over 35s to finish after ranking 12th overall.

She was followed by Kate Titlow, Jodie Spencer and Kate Spilsbury, all among the top 50 runners and within 17 seconds of each other.

Middlewich Guardian:

Jodie Spencer, with Vale Royal Athletics Club teammats Kate Spilsbury and Kate Titlow close behind, helped the senior women to take eighth place in the team standings on Saturday

Together they claimed eighth spot in the teams table, while clubmate Helen Smith was fastest of the over 45s a 360-strong field.

Stuart Doyle, club chairman, also claimed category honours in the men’s over 45s class after crossing the line 55th overall.

Results (selected Vale Royal AC members only)

Northern Cross Country Championships

Knowsley Safari Park

Saturday, January 28

Senior men: 55. Stuart Doyle 46.04; 285. James Griffiths 54.59; 300. Gareth Williams 55.36; 305. Brian Dooley 55.41; 456. Joe Cavanagh 1:01.52; 603. John Clarke 1:10.27; 633. Richard Pettitt 1:14.23; 638. Colin Rathbone 1:14.54. Teams: 35. Vale Royal AC 2004pts.

Senior women: 12. Sarah Murphy 32.45; 42. Kate Titlow 35.00; 43. Jodie Spencer 35.03; 47. Kate Spilsbury 35.17; 57. Helen Smith 36.20; 351. Carole Williams 1:01.53. Teams: 8. Vale Royal AC 144pts.

Under 20s men: 9. Matthew Sheen 28.30; 20. Cameron Weaver 29.18; 35. Jacob Brown 30.12; 61. Nathan Williams 32.55. Teams: 4. Vale Royal AC 125pts.

Under 20s women: 28. Chloe Dooley 25.16; 34. Cara Gibbons 25.40; 41. Clara Pettitt 26.21; 49. Sophie Smith 27.48. Teams: 6. Vale Royal AC 103pts.

Under 17s boys: 18. Alex Doyle 20.56; 19. Arun Dight 21.04; 24. Harry Dexter 21.18; 65. Oliver Waring 22.27. Teams: 3. Vale Royal AC 126pts.

Under 17s girls: 13. Caitlin Dimmick 21.39; 37. Esme Bridge 22.37.

Under 15s boys: 3. Sam Evans 14.19; 18. Alfie Bould 14.58; 55. Ed Pettitt 15.42; 92. Aaron Doyle 16.29; 109. Will McKay 16.57; 121. Sam Washington 17.20. Teams: 5. Vale Royal AC 168pts.

Under 15s girls: 6. Holly Smith 16.22; 27. Lucy Smith 17.29; 107. Beth Latham 19.19; 124. Cerys Pilliner 19.50; 155. Isabelle Davies 20.59. Teams: 10. Vale Royal AC 264pts.

Under 13s boys: 16. Will Ashfield 11.50; 37. Patrick Grifffith 12.14; 67. James Lanni 12.38; 129. Dylan Carney 13.29; 160. Yasper Freestone 14.01. Teams: 8. Vale Royal AC 250pts.

Under 13s girls: 8. Holly Weedall 12.20; 11. Grace Roberts 12.28; 111. Kate Sherry 14.09; 138. Thea Smith 14.40; 148. Rebecca Nixon 14.46; 174. Tilly Gibbs 15.21. Teams: 6. Vale Royal AC 190pts.