Submitted photo Summerland Rocket Natalie Benoit won the senior girls race in 18 minutes, five seconds.

Cross-country athletes tackle Campbell Mountain

South Okanagan student-athletes race challenging course

Cross country running is alive and well in the South Okanagan.

Last Wednesday, 43 athletes from Penticton Secondary School Lakers, Princess Margaret Mustangs and Summerland Rockets, along with local middle schools, competed on Campbell Mountain. Student-athletes had to do multiple loops of a challenging, yet beautiful 1.4 kilometre course said race organizers.

In the junior boys race, the Lakers Eli Grant set a blistering pace and finished with a time of 15:30. He was followed closely by teammate Fred Albrechtson with a time of 15:38. In third place for the junior boys was the Rockets Jacob Mullen. In the junior girls race, the Mustangs Madison Boerner won by a large margin in a time of 19:29, followed by Lakers runner Lauryn Peters who had a time of 20:53. In third was the Lakers Ella Engan, finishing with a time of 21:04.

In the senior girls race, the Rockets Natalie Benoit won in a time of 18:05. In second was Haley Berrisford of Pen High in a time of 19:01 and closely followed in third by Ailie Hayman of Pen High.

In the senior boys race, the Rockets Jason Scherban put on a fantastic performance winning the 5.6 km race in 19:44. He was followed by German exchange student Philip Raible, racing for the Lakers, in a time of 20:17. Rounding out the top three was Rocket Ben Gertz in a time of 20:31.

“All in all, students had a fantastic time and are very motivated to work towards the ultimate goal of the Provincial Championships in Vancouver on Nov. 4,” said Geoff Waterman, coach of the Lakers.

The next race on the local schedule is on Oct. 4 in Summerland on the Test of Humanity course.