A NINE-year-old Barnton youngster has won a place in the regional squad for the junior National Gymnastics Championships at Birmingham on April 28 and 29.
Katie Frith, a pupil of Comberbach Primary School, was in a clutch of Hartford School of Gymnastics pupils representing Cheshire and Merseyside at the North West Championships at Stalybridge.
She won her event on the beam - with a distinction - and finished second overall, including vault, bars and floor exercises. There were 69 entries in the Grade 4 category.
Coach Michelle Oakes said: 'Katie has been training for this competition since September. We had our sights set on the Nationals. Because of her ability and determination, I knew she could achieve amazing results even against girls a few years older than her - it was an open age competition.
'Katie picked up a virus two weeks ago and we had to adjust her targets and just go for a distinction.
'The beam is possibly the hardest of the four pieces but she made each element look effortless and finished a highly polished routine without any falls and more importantly a distinction level score.
'We were both over the moon.' Katie will join the North West team for the British event and is already putting in extra training.
The top four gymnasts at the Cheshire and Merseyside championships made up the North West teams at various grades.
They included Hartford's results: Lorie Sanders, who shared in a Grade Six team silver; Lucy Walsh-Johnson, who scooped an individual and team bronze (Grade Six out of age); Abby Hassall, vault winner, third overall and team runner-up (Grade Five out of age); Katie Talbot and Amy Hassall both team silvers (Grade Five out of age).
Details of the Hartford School classes are available from Charlie and Michelle Oakes on 01606 782658.