Athletics Review: April 27, 2008

Senior Boys Rugby
On Tuesday the 1st and 2nd XV took the field against the highly touted Shawnigan Lake side. Although ranked higher, the early season chatter had SMUS entering the game as the underdog. In a back and forth struggle, SMUS defended with great courage and commitment repeatedly turning back a formidable Shawnigan forward pack. Tenacity in the tackle forced many turnovers leading to some excellent tries through some slick ball handling. With Shawnigan on the charge for the final 15 minutes, the boys showed simply superb defensive organization and held out the much larger mid-island team to earn a well-deserved 26-21 victory. The teams’ regular stars continue to shine but the coaches are most impressed with 1st XV newcomers; Andrew Stephens, Masaki Kunimoto, Taylor McCarten and Mike van der Westhuizen, who are playing some inspired rugby at the moment.

Over the weekend, SMUS hosted “Bracketbuster Saturday” where lower seeded teams got a crack at some of the perennial powerhouses. SMUS drew the provincially ranked #12 seed, Magee. A team is always at its most vulnerable the match after “a big game” and this Saturday was to prove no different. Starting with no less than nine positional changes from the Shawnigan fixture, SMUS started strongly but then lost focus, allowing Magee to stay in the hunt. A 19-5 deficit at the half was concerning as a loss would surely throw the provincial rankings into question. However, the boys dug their heels in and found a way to score twice in the final 10 minutes to win 36-24. SMUS holds its BC #1 ranking as we now move into the final two weeks of league play.

Both the 2nd and 1st XV sides are in action on Monday as they travel up to Vanier who will be a big, strong physical opponent and then following that, their focus turns to this Saturday (Alumni Weekend) when arch-rival Oak Bay will be looking to avenge their loss at the Boot Game.

Track and Field
Last Thursday, the track and field team was at UVIC’s Centennial Stadium for the third meet of the season. In another exciting event, it was the middle distance crew that led the way. In the girls 1500m race, Jocelyn Stedman and Tica Bengston led the way for the SMUS team. On the boy’s side, Tyler Olson, Leo Marchand, Addison Kwok, Justin Leung and Curtis Smith were equally outstanding in the 1500m.

The top sprinters included Tara Moon, Andrea Appollos, Julie Shim and Sydney Stockus in the girls 100m, along with Jimmy Wang and Chris Colquhoun in the boys 100m.

In the jumps this week, Monique Wong and Julie Shim posted personal bests in the long jump.

The next meet for the crew is Wednesday, April 30th.

Junior Girls Soccer “A” Team
The Junior Girls “A” team faced the very speedy and aggressive Stelly’s Stingers on Tuesday. The Jag’s dominated the play for the majority of the game and Lisa Evans buried a nice goal in the opposing net in the first half. Stelly’s managed to get a lucky fast break on us and scored, to tie the game 1-1. The Jags had a solid game and numerous scoring opportunities but were not able to execute another goal.

The Jags faced the top-ranked Parkland Panthers on Thursday in Sidney. In their best game of the season, the Jags held nothing back and worked together to defend against the very strong Panthers. In a very fast-paced game, all players should be commended for their teamwork and work ethic. The defense especially had a lot of action, and proved to be very strong for us, especially Sophie Yeates and Genna Purcell. The Jags managed to hold off the goal hungry Panthers until late in the second half, when one goal managed to sneak in. Goaltender Kirsten MacLeod had an excellent game, in her most demanding game this season, stopping other numerous shots. In the end, the team was happy with the 0-1 result against a much stronger team. Overall, the team finished second in our league pool. As a result, the girls will be going to the city finals starting this Tuesday.

Junior Boys Soccer “A” Team
The Junior Boys “A” Soccer team began their last week of league play with a game against Parklands on Wednesday. SMUS dominated the first half with possession, and had two clear-cut goal opportunities. Unfortunately, the team could not capitalize and it was beginning to look as though they would miss striker Jamie Yorath, who was out on injury. Parklands didn’t really trouble Jure Erlik in goal, as his back line was holding strong with Marc Van der Wal cleaning everything up down the left side. SMUS took the field in the second half and saw the same type of possession – but this time they broke through. They scored first, early in the half, and would later add to that tally as Kevin Kim scored from a wide angle. The winning result of this match would leave SMUS in second place in their pool, if Reynolds were to remain undefeated.

However, on Thursday morning, word arrived that Reynolds had lost their Wednesday afternoon match. This would put plenty of pressure on SMUS as they were set to play Mt. Doug that afternoon at the Finlayson turf field. That pressure was relieved upon arrival at the pitch, as Mt. Doug only had 7 players and couldn’t field a team. The stage was set – the Junior Boys had won their pool and will face St. Andrews in their first play-off game on Monday. Last year, the team narrowly missed play-offs – this year, a win on Monday would guarantee them a spot in the Island Championships. Kick-off on Monday is 3:45 at SMUS.

Tennis
The week started off with tough match against Lambrick Park. A very strong start by the Lambrick squad had them up 4-2 at the changeover. SMUS had wins from the teams of Felix Koenigs and Philip Petranek, and Germain Chan and Priya Mulgaonkar. Felix and Philip were the only team to win their reverse doubles and the team fell in a disappointing 8-3 loss.

With a much more inspired and desperate team, SMUS faced off against GNS at Henderson on Tuesday afternoon. The teams of Felix Koenigs and Raksit Pattanapitoon, and Paula Weech and Priya Mulgaonkar won their opening round doubles matches 6-2 and 6-3 respectively. A tough 6-4 loss by the boys team of Philip Petranek and Kristijan Gjorgjevik meant SMUS was going into the reverse doubles down 4-2 again. However, the team played some of their best tennis to date and Felix and Raksit, and Philip and Kristijan won their matches 6-3 and 6-2 respectively. A good win by Germain Chan and Mckenzie Scott, 6-1, meant the team won 3 out 5 reverse matches and only dropped the match by a 6-5 score.

With 1 win and 2 losses, SMUS was determined to finish the league play on a winning note with a match against Esquimalt at Stadacona Park. All the starting doubles teams, Philip and Kristijan, Felix and Raksit, Monique Wong and Germain, and Priya and Paula won their opening matches 6-0, 6-3, 6-2 and 6-0 respectively. Mckenzie won her singles match 6-0 to give SMUS a 5-1 lead going into the reverse doubles. Vernus Chan and Britt Martin subbed in in the mixed doubles, winning 6-1, while the teams of Kevin Luk and Philip, and Alfred Yau and Felix won their reverse doubles 6-0 and 6-3 respectively. Finally, a great win for the team of Kelly Chang and Seria Bag, 6-0, gave the team a 9-2 victory. The team finished 3rd in league play with a 2-2 record behind GNS (4-0) and Lambrick (3-1). The team will play in the City tournament next week for a chance to go to the Islands.

Times Colonist 10k
On Sunday, April 27th, both the Senior School and the Middle School fielded teams in the TC 10k road running race. The weather was perfect for running, and the race featured its largest field ever. In last year’s event, the school came 3rd in the school/education category, behind Shawnigan and St. Andrews.

The event saw incredible performances from Michael van der Westhuizen (38:53) and Reagan Daly (41:34). The team was rounded out by Jeff Hunt (38:30), Josh Evans (41:12) and David Kerr (42:31). Overall, the SMUS Team (aka SMU-ving) took 2nd place this year in the school/education division. On the Middle School side of things, it was Bruce Kuklinski who performed very well on the day with a time of 39:49.

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