FOR the first time, Vale Royal Athletics Club believe they may win a medal at the National Cross Country Championships.
Their reasons are fourfold - their outstanding Under 17s girls team made up of Stevie Stockton, Emma Coxon, Laura Lambert and Rachel Clews.
They were all running for their various schools and colleges in the Cheshire Schools Championships at the weekend. But they are back together on Saturday week, at Birmingham, to take on England's finest.
Last time out the foursome won the Northern Championships at Durham.
Coach Shaun McGrath said: 'We stand a chance of a medal and we have never been able to say that before. It's going to be very interesting.'
They went to Durham as Cheshire Champions and they go to Birmingham in the yellow and blue of tiny, rural Vale Royal as the main hope, not just of their club, but of an entire region.
Stevie Stockton, 17, from Crewe, is fastest across country.
She was sixth at Durham and, in September, when the team won the North West Road Relays, she led the entire field home.
McGrath said: 'I think she's settled down as a 3k runner, but at the moment she does everything, as they do at that age.'
Sir John Deane's College student Emma Coxon, 17, has been with Vale Royal the longest. As an U13 Emma, who lives at Weaverham, won the Cheshire 800m, 1500m and cross country titles at club and school levels.
Winsford's Laura Lambert, a 16-year-old Hartford High School student, won a North of England 800m bronze medal last summer and shared in the North West Road Relay glory.
At 15, Rachel Clews, from Sandbach, is the youngest of the quartet.
McGrath said: 'Up to six months ago she was very much into hockey. She got better and better with coaching and is still improving.'
When they run all four are aware that talented clubmates like Lorna Timms, Gemma Lievesley and Lucy Knight are also chasing counting positions.
And in the Northerns Hannah Rugen, who moved with her family several years ago to Leeds, travelled from Yorkshire to represent the club. She refuses to give up the Vale Royal vest.
It's a loyalty that is not unique. Holly Knight, another U17, would be a threat to any of the four if she lived closer.
Holly won an English Schools Cross Country gold medal last year. She too sticks with Vale Royal - even though she lives in Devon.