Vernon Secondary’s Hannah Bennison successfully defended her B.C. High School Senior Girls Cross-Country running title.

Vernon Secondary’s Hannah Bennison successfully defended her B.C. High School Senior Girls Cross-Country running title.

Bennison defends title

It was a course Hannah Bennison was familiar with. This time, though, the end result was better

It was a course Hannah Bennison was familiar with. This time, though, the end result was better.

The first time the Grade 11 Vernon Secondary cross-country runner raced at Vancouver’s Jericho Beach trails, the course was muddy.

Conditions were almost identical the second time as Bennison ran to her second straight B.C. High School Senior Girls Cross-Country championship, beating a field of 218 with a time of 16 minutes 40.98 seconds.

Bennison was nearly a minute faster than Christina Sevsek of Surrey’s Clayton Heights Secondary as she successfully defended her title.

“I was really nervous at the start of the race,” said Bennison. “It was really muddy which was the same as when I ran nationals on that course and I didn’t have a good run. This one turned out well and it feels good to repeat.”

The win added to a perfect high school season of racing for the nationally ranked Bennison, who won all North Zone races plus the Okanagan Championship.

“I went out to the front (of the pack) and ran with another girl for about 200 metres,” said Bennison. “I started to feel everybody was slowing down but I was able to keep my pace (3:43) and was able to break away.”

Bennison will compete Nov. 28 in the Canadian cross-country championships in Kingston, Ont., running against the top women runners from college and university teams.

Seaton’s Desiree Gosselin completed the course in 23:06.97 to place 147th. Samantha Loewen of VSS was 170th in 23:50.22.

In the junior girls race, Bennison’s sister, Mia, cracked the top-10. She ended up sixth overall in 18:38.40. Mia is a Grade 9 VSS student.

Fellow Panthers runners Emma Eggert (89th, 21:20.17) and Kelsey Carriere (123rd, 22:04.65) also competed in the field of 200.

Braden Kersey of Seaton ended up 11th in a field of 179 junior boys runners in a time of 18:57.29.

Fulton’s Joey Kohut placed 43rd in 26:46.80 while Seaton’s Aidan Andrews finished 136th in 29:34.06 in the senior boys event.

  • Vernon’s Alesha Miller, who struggled with an injury, finished 133rd overall in the six-kilometre women’s CIS cross-country championship in Guelph, Ont. Miller runs for Thompson Rivers University out of Kamloops.