Panther foursome headed to provincials

The VSS Panthers will send four athletes to the B.C. High School Cross Country Running Championships, Saturday, Nov. 5 in West Kelowna.

The VSS Panthers will send four athletes to the B.C. High School Cross Country Running Championships, Saturday, Nov. 5 in West Kelowna.

Natalie Johnston, Megan Johnston, Jenica Camalush and Chris Watson will represent VSS at the Telemark Cross County Ski Area course following stellar showings in the Valley finals Tuesday at Larch Hills in Salmon Arm.

There was a field of 217 runners at the Okanagan race with the top-20 in the senior divisions advancing to provincials.

The VSS junior girls team – missing a key runner – missed out on the third qualifying position by a single point to the Immaculata Mustangs of Kelowna. The Panther junior boys managed a second-place pennant, while VSS was sixth in the senior boys category despite only having one runner of senior age.

Natalie Johnston covered the 4200-metre senior girls race 12th in 18 minutes and 32 seconds. Megan Johnston was 14th overall and 10th junior, in 18:36. Camalush, a Grade 9 runner, was 16th overall and 11th junior, in 18:38.

Desiree Gosselin, a Grade 8 athlete with the Charles Bloom Timberwolves, placing 15th overall in 18:37. Meillisa Lulashnyk of the Fulton Maroons placed 18th to make provincials, in 18:38.7. Marin Carruthers of VSS was 16th among junior girls, in 20:17.

Watson, a Grade 10 athlete, qualified for provincials by finishing 17th overall and ninth junior in the 5800-metre boys race, in 23:32.

Mack Moody of Armstrong’s Pleasant Valley Saints was ninth overall and fifth junior, in 22:55. Moody is in Grade 9.

Eric Byram of the Panthers placed 16th in the junior division, in 24:35, while Eamon Miller of the Seaton Sonics was 24th, in 25:04 and Seth Blundell of the Panthers was 28th, in 25:18.