It was a glorious crisp sunny afternoon for a high school cross-country meet Wednesday at Coldstream’s Kalamalka Lake Provincial Park.
And, as race director and host Mark Bendall of Vernon Secondary School pointed out, there were no bear sightings, just lots of scat, no major injuries, and no one permanently lost.
“We had 81 athletes from 11 schools, and nine teams in the four categories,” said Bendall, referring to the junior and senior boys and girls races.
The Juniors got things started and ran four kilometres through the park.
In a photo finish, Matt Acob of Coldstream’s Kalamalka Secondary finished in 15 minutes 33 seconds to beat out Fin Rodwell of Salmon Arm Secondary and Ashton Takhar of Fulton Secondary, who were both one second behind. Frankie Ayotte of Salmon Arm (15:42) and Keegan Heidt of Kal (15:43) rounded out the top-five.
Top junior girl was Revelstoke’s Alexandra Luxmoore, who crossed 14th overall in 16:53, 21 seconds faster than Isabella Pighin of Fulton Secondary, who was the top Grade 8 girl. Samantha Vukadinovic of Salmon Arm was third (17:18). Ruby Serrouya of Revelstoke claimed fourth place in 17:37, two seconds faster than Julianne Moore of Salmon Arm.
Top Grade 8 boy was Nathan King of Shuswap Middle School (eighth overall, 15:58).
A total of 58 juniors took part.
A field of 23 seniors ran five kilometres, led by Jack Screen of Seaton Secondary, who crossed the finish line in 16:18, 20 seconds ahead of Humberto Castaneiras of Revelstoke. Stephen Moore of Salmon Arm was third in 16:55. Brody Wright of the host Vernon Panthers placed fourth in 17:20 while Calvin Hepburn of Salmon Arm placed fifth in 17:36.
Salmon Arm runners swept the top-five senior girls placings, led by winner Maggie Beckner of Salmon Arm Secondary (14th overall, 19:45). She was six seconds ahead of teammate Lys Milne. Jessica Roodzant of King’s Christian was third in 20:16, 17 seconds faster than Phoebe Barnes of Salmon Arm. Sophia Van Varseveld of SASS was fifth in 24:08.
Katelyn Kadach of VSS was sixth in an even 28 minutes.
Runners will compete next week in Salmon Arm.