HOLLY Smith’s time during the Mid Cheshire 5K is the best by an athlete in her age category this year.

The Vale Royal Athletics Club member reached the finish at Kingsley in 17.07, sending her to the top of the UK rankings for under 15s girls.

She was fourth female to finish, and first among the under 21s in the field.

Middlewich Guardian:

Vale Royal Athletics Club's Holly Smith, left, with dad Matthew - who runs for South Cheshire Harriers - and twin sister Lucy at the Mid Cheshire 5K. Picture: Robert Brown

At the front Ben Connor (Derby AC), a reigning English national cross country champion, took first prize in a rapid 14.00.

The race, organised by Vale Royal’s Mike Harrington through Cute Fruit Events, doubled as the inaugural England 5K Road Race Championship.

A high-class entry included more than 35 Vale Royal members, more than half of them setting personal bests.

Chris Williams led the way, crossing the line inside the top 50 after stopping the clock in 15.59.

Andrew Miles wasn’t far behind him in 16.24, while Stuart Doyle took second spot in the men’s over 45 category in 16.25.

Teenager Ed Pettitt was 86th overall in 16.54.

Sarah Murphy was fastest in the women’s over 35 age group, timing 17.43, while Natasha Smith was best over the over 45s.

Jodie Spencer, Kate Titlow and Lucy Smith, Holly’s twin, improved on their previous bests.

Meanwhile Gary Weedall (men’s over 55) and John Clarke (men’s over 60) took third place in their respective categories, and Pauline Davies was best in the women’s over 65s class.

Results

Mid Cheshire Spring 5K

Friday, April 28

selected Vale Royal AC members only

49. Chris Williams 15.59 (senior men); 66. Andrew Miles (senior men) 16.24; 68. Stuart Doyle (men’s vet 45) 16.25; 86. Ed Pettitt (men’s under 21) 16.54; 91. James Ainsworth (men’s vet 40) 17.00; 94. Chris Jones (senior men) 17.06; 95. Holly Smith (women’s under 21) 17.07; 126. Gareth Williams (men’s vet 45) 17.34; 135. Sarah Murphy (women’s vet 35) 17.43; 136. Jodie Spencer (senior women) 17.44; 149. Tom Armstrong (senior men) 18.01; 159. Craig Sephton (men’s vet 45) 18.16; 165=. Lucy Smith (women’s under 21), Kate Titlow (senior women) 18.26; 172. Robert Roe (senior men) 18.43; 177. Natasha Smith (women’s vet 45) 18.45; 184. Brian Dooley (men’s vet 45) 18.49; 187. Chloe Dooley (women’s under 21) 18.52; 193. Andrea Hilldrup (women’s vet 35) 18.54; 226. Clara Pettitt (women’s under 21) 19.32; 242. Esme Bridge (women’s under 21) 19.53; 244. David Humphreys (men’s vet 40) 19.55; 246. Helen Smith (women’s vet 45) 20.01; 250. Lucy Burch (women’s under 21) 20.05; 255. Gary Weedall (men’s vet 55) 20.11; 275. Anthony Dutton (men’s vet 40) 20.38; 281. Geoff Fawkes (men’s vet 45) 20.45; 289. John Clarke (men’s vet 60) 21.01; 316. Steve Collier (men’s vet 55) 22.02; 319. Simon Bridge (men’s vet 50) 22.10; 327. Lisa Meadows (men’s vet 45) 22.34; 346. Mary Tavener (women’s vet 55) 22.58; 369. Richard Pettitt (men’s vet 55) 23.30; 374. Jayne Lomax (women’s vet 50) 23.39; 380. Christopher Griffiths (men’s vet 55) 23.45; 413. Pauline Davies (women’s vet 65) 25.52; 435. Ann Collier (women’s vet 55) 27.28.