Summerland Secondary School students had strong performances at last week’s Okanagan Valley Championship race.
The race was held on Oct. 25 at the Telemark Nordic Centre in West Kelowna.
Rachel Shanner, a Grade 12 student, qualified for the B.C. Championships in the senior girls category.
She placed 20th with a time of 24:18 in the 4.6-kilometre race.
The school’s junior boys team placed first in their category, with four athletes also qualifying as individuals, placing within the top 15 places in the 5.9-kilometre race.
Keagan Ingram finished in third place with a time of 23:31.
He was followed by Jason Scherban, in fourth place, with a time of 23:59.
Ben Geertz finished seventh, with a time of 24:33 and Ethan Sands finished in 12th place with a time of 25:00.
Other members of the junior boys team were Koen Buckingham with a time of 28:32, Luke Usher with a time of 29:51 and Reilly Noble with a time of 30:30.
All athletes contributed to the overall title.
Coaches Michael Berrisford from TriPower Triathlon Club and Brian Salter and Jenny Ayers from the high school all noticed the great team spirit and the support from parents and peers.
“I can tell by the way you communicate, warm-up together, cheer each other on, and support each other after the race that there is meaningful teamwork happening,” Salter said.
“The Summerland Secondary School cross-country team — boys and girls — is young and full of speedy prospects,” Berrisford said. “Cross-country running is alive and thriving in Summerland.”
The school’s junior and senior girls teams are also strong this year.
Salter said all the girls have been training hard, many showing remarkable gains in stamina, and several narrowly missed qualifying for the B.C. Championship at the Valley competition.
Members of the junior girls team are Haleigh Bach, Natalie Benoit, Annika Carlson, Regina Fernandez, Olivia Harrold, Rayman Klar, Elizabeth MacIntosh and Delaney Sorenson.
Members of the senior girls team are: Olivia Eaton, Bailey Johnson and Shanner.
The next race is the qualifier for the B.C. Championship Race, also at Telemark. The race will be held Saturday, Nov. 5.