Hannah Bennison was pushed to the limit but found a way to hang on for her third consecutive B.C. high school cross-country title.
The Grade 12 student from Vernon Secondary claimed the 4.5 km senior girls race Saturday at the Telemark ski area in West Kelowna in a time of 17:50, holding off Christina Sevsek of Surrey’s Clayton Heights to win by four seconds.
Bennison, who also trains with the Kelowna-based Okanagan Athletics Club, is the first female athlete since Oak Bay’s Justine Johnson (2006-08) to win three straight provincial cross-country titles.
George Elliot Secondary’s Taryn O’Neill was the top senior girl from the Central Okanagan, finishing fourth in 18:22.
In the senior boys division, Tyler Dozzi from Victoria’s Oak Bay won the 6.7 km race in 24:23.
Okanagan Mission’s Turner Woodruff was the top senior boy from Kelowna in a field of 222 runners, finishing 20th in 26:27.
In junior boys’ competition, West Kelowna’s Brock Hoel won the bronze medal in a time of 17:10. A Grade 10 Heritage Christian student, Hoel won four gold medals in triathlon-related events at this year’s B.C. Summer Games in Abbotsford.
Jasper Stone of Aberdeen Hall was fifth in the junior boys race in 17:35.
Vernon’s Mia Bennison won the junior girls race with a time of 19:04.