ATHLETICS: HANNA Hewitson leapt to her first national medal at the weekend.
The 16-year-old Vale Royal AC triple jumper, pictured below, won a silver medal at the British Indoor Athletics Championships Under 17s event, at the National Arena, Birmingham.
She only missed the gold medal by an agonising 12cm, but her first podium position at British level is testament to her astonishing progress over the past 18 months.
Since Hanna emerged as an exciting talent she has 'made a significant impact on triple jumping,' said coach Neil Templeman.
Hanna has won three North of England titles - two indoor, one out - and set four regional records, as well as dominating Cheshire events at club and school level.
Templeman added: 'She has broken North records that have been in place for eight and six years. She is a determined girl who sets new boundaries for herself all the time. The medal is a just reward for her efforts over the winter months.'
Some two dozen Vale Royal runners, meanwhile, are heading for the Inter-Counties Cross Country Championships at Nottingham this weekend. The event is televised on Sky TV.
Cheshire are hopeful of medals at Under 17s level where Vale Royal are represented by 10 athletes.
The county caps are: Hannah Paver, Robyn Ellis, Elizabeth Pegg (U13s), Kathy Stringer, Rebecca Craigie, Andrew Clews, Richard Chadwick (U15s), Hannah Weedall, Laura Lambert, Stevie Stockton, Rachel Clews, Lorna Timms, Ryan Smith, Glen George, James Griffiths, Zac Cross, Chris Perry (U17s), Fiona Rudkin, Katy Spilsbury, Gemma Lievesley, Becky Ellis, Stephen Mitchell, Mark Mitchell (U20s), Nick Archer (ladies).
* Northwich-born national hero Paula Radcliffe has pulled out of the Commonwealth Games, which begin in Melbourne on Wednesday because of a bruised foot.
She was the hot 10,000m favourite but was also listed in the 5,000m, in which she won gold at Manchester four years ago and marathon teams. She is expected to defend her London Marathon title in April, however.