Okanagan Athletics Club member Hannah Bennison ran to gold at junior nationals on Saturday in Kingston

Bennison breezes to national title

Vernon teenager, who trains in Kelowna, wins junior cross country championship by 22 seconds

What a year it’s been for Hannah Bennison.

The 16-year-old runner from Vernon, who trains in Kelowna with the Okanagan Athletics Club, capped off the 2015 season with a convincing victory Saturday at the Canadian Junior Cross Country Championships in Kingston, Ont.

Bennison led from wire to wire, winning in dominant fashion by 22 seconds over Madeleine Ghazarian of Guelph, Ont.

“She powered away early and her flawless running style proved to be too much for anyone to challenge throughout the six km race,” said coach Malindi Elmore.

Bennison finished the cross country season undefeated, also winning B.C. High School Championship and the B.C. Athletics provincial title.

She was equally impressive on the track earlier this season breaking the 30-year-old provincial high school record in the 3000m, eclipsing the mark set by Kelowna native Silverado (Brenda) Shackelton.

Bennison also represented Canada this summer at the World Youth Championships in Cali, Columbia where she finished eighth in the world in the 3000m.

“At 16, Hannah still has three years left as a junior athlete and will hopefully continue to be a dominant force on the national and international stage,” Elmore added.

Bennison is coached by Elmore and Nathan Reiter.

 

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