Vernon's Hannah Bennison won a second straight national U20 women's cross country title in Kingston

Vernon's Hannah Bennison won a second straight national U20 women's cross country title in Kingston

Bennison takes national U20 title

Hannah Bennison of Vernon defended her U20 women's title at the Canadian Cross Country Championships in Kingston.

Morning Star Staff

Hannah Bennison of Vernon, who ran away with the 2015 title, had company for the majority of this year’s U20 women’s six-kilometres race at the Canadian Cross Country Championships Saturday at Kingston’s Fort Henry.

Last year’s U18 winner, Brogan MacDougall of Kingston, Ont., challenged Bennison during the first two laps.

Bennison, a Grade 12 VSS student, pulled away from MacDougall during the closing stages and retained her U20 title.

With no wind and temperatures in the low single digits, a muddy circuit made for a terrific day of racing. A repeat was also in the cards in the U20 men’s race. Ehab El-Sandali of Toronto was the fastest over the final two kilometres to repeat his title from 2015.

Speed River Track & Field Club won the women’s and Windsor Legion Track & Field Club won the men’s U20 club competitions.

Ross Proudfoot of Sudbury,  and Sasha Gollish of Toronto proved to be the best senior cross country runners.

In the senior women’s race, a pack consisting of Gollish, Rachel Cliff of Vancouver, Rachel Hannah of Toronto, Claire Sumner of Calgary, Kate Harrison of Toronto and Victoria Coates of Newmarket, Ont., separated themselves from the field going into the second half of the race.

Over the final loop. Gollish proved to be the strongest by pulling away and claiming her first senior women’s national cross country title.

Cliff earned silver and this year’s USport champion, Claire Sumner, rounded out the podium in third. Kingston based Physi-Kult made their hometown proud by repeating as the senior women’s club team champion, earning the Run Ottawa 2,000$ in prize money.

Ross Proudfoot proved again to be the class of the field in the men’s senior championship race. The 2015 champion was content to bide his time while Luc Bruchet of Vancouver and Matt Hughes of Oshawa took turns with the lead over the 10-kilometre race. Proudfoot’s strong close over the final kilometre helped earn him a second consecutive senior title.

Club Athlétisme Université Laval claimed the men’s senior team title and the Run Ottawa $2,000 prize purse.