Athletics Review: May 11, 2008

Tennis
Placing third in the Lower Island Tournament, the Tennis team headed to Islands and was put in the Black Pool with Brentwood College and Lambrick Park. The opening match saw the team take on the Lambrick squad, whom they had lost to twice during the regular season. The team was determined as ever to win this opening match and qualify for the semi-final round. The new team of Britt Martin and Paula Weech played an amazing first match winning 6-3 and getting the team off on the right foot. They were followed by a tough 6-5 win by Philip Petranek and Vernus Chan. However, the teams of Monique Wong and Priya Mulgaonkar, and Raksit Pattanapitoon and Alfred Yau dropped their opening matches 6-3 and 6-1 respectively. Two very tight singles matches went Lambrick’s way as Felix Koenigs and Germain Chan both dropped their matches 6-5, meaning SMUS was going into the changeover in familiar territory, being down 4-2. Although the team gave it their all and won both the boys reverse doubles, they dropped the three other matches losing to Lambrick 7-4 for the third time this season.

A lot of energy had been put into playing Lambrick and the team did not look the same as they stepped on court to play Brentwood. A quick win by the team of Britt and Paula, 6-2, proved to be the only win the SMUS team would get as the team dropped every other match. Losing both matches meant SMUS did not qualify for the semi-final round and would not qualify for Provincials.

As the team travelled to Shawnigan to play against GNS for 5th place, it was decided that everyone would play and have fun regardless of the outcome. After a tough match, SMUS dropped its final match of the season 6-5.

Coach Michael Loomer was extremely proud of the players throughout the season and how they conducted themselves on and off the court. Although many players are graduating this year, hopefully the Grade 9’s, 10’s and 11’s will return next year even better!

Track and Field
The track and field team was at the Lower Island Track and Field Championships last Wednesday up at UVic. Imran Ismail made a personal best in the Long Jump and earned 3rd place with 6.11m and earned 2nd in the Triple Jump with 12.11m. Tony Chuang was 3rd in the Long Jump and then 5th in the Triple Jump, and Julie Shim placed 7th in the Long Jump. Sydney Stockus was 3rd in the Junior Girls 100m. Maddy Peterson was 3rd in the Grade Nine Girls 1500m, and Leo Marchand made 3rd in the Gr.10 Boys 1500m. Tica Bengsten placed 4th in the 800m and 7th in the 1500m. She bettered her previous 800m time by 13 seconds.

Junior Boys “A” Soccer
The Junior Boys Soccer team played in the Island Finals this week. After finishing 1st in the city, they were heavy favourites heading into their first match against Brentwood College. SMUS dominated the first part of the match with quality possession, and went ahead when Jamie Yorath broke through the Brentwood back line on a well-timed run. The Blue Jags continued in the second half with great possession and forward movement, but were unable to get the ball past a strong Brentwood goalkeeper. The score ended at 1-0.

In their second match of the day, SMUS faced Reynolds for the third time in their season. Reynolds held considerable possession in the first half, and SMUS had a hard time keeping the ball. Despite their possession, Reynolds barely challenged the SMUS back line and were unable to create much in their attacking third. The team that SMUS fielded in the second half looked rejuvenated. They began to pressure Reynolds, and moved the ball well through the midfield. Although there was a change in pace, attitude, and spirit, SMUS were still unable to get the ball past a quality Reynolds goalkeeper, ending the match at 0-0.

The Jag’s third game would end the same way, with both SMUS and Timberline unable to score. Due to the two draws, the Jags finished second in their pool. Although they conceded no goals and did not lose a game, they were to play in the third place match on Friday afternoon.

In the third place game, the Blue Jags faced Oak Bay – the same side they faced in the city finals. After two games without scoring, it was clear that the lads were eager for a goal. They were pressuring Oak Bay all over the pitch, and Jamie Yorath scored early. SMUS would keep great possession and would score twice more while Oak Bay was only able to get one back.

The Blue Jags finished 3rd in the Island Tournament, and ended their Lower Island Athletics season with no losses, having only conceded three goals. A mention should be made to Colin Smith, who was a huge asset in the Island Tournament playing in a new role as a midfielder. He swept through the back line on three separate occasions to take away numerous goal-scoring opportunities, and provided a dynamic attack from a central position.

The Junior Boys will be preparing for the ISA Tournament that they are hosting later in May, and they will be looking to continue with their very impressive record.

Junior Girls “A” Soccer
The Junior Girls team concluded their season this week. On Monday, the girls faced Parklands in the city finals – an excellent game played by all, and their best game this season. The girls went out hard for this rematch against the only team who had defeated them. Laura Simandl scored early in the second half, and the Jags managed to hold their lead until the Panthers scored an unfortunate goal with only four minutes left of regulation time. After no score in double overtime, the game was decided in a shoot out. The Jags scored 3 out of 5, but it was not enough as the Panthers managed to score one more goal to win the City Finals by one point.

On Thursday and Friday, the girls took an early bus up to Nanaimo for the Island Championships. The girls did not play their best in their first game against Vanier, and had an unfortunate 2-1 loss. Laura Simandl scored our only goal of the game. On the second game of the day, the Jags came back strong and played their game of soccer to defeat Brentwood 2-0. Both goals were scored by centre midfield Laura Simandl who is always able to position herself for a good shot. All players worked hard and Guiliana Bianco played her best game of the season. On Friday, the Jags faced Ballenas. An unfortunate bounce and a penalty shot gave Ballenas a 2-0 advantage in a well-matched game.

In the final game, the Jags came out strong, though the team was facing some injuries and were tired. They defeated Woodlands 3-1 to take fifth place on the Island. Goals were scored by Shelby Clark, Laura Simandl, and Emma Ronning-Philip. Ciara Glen also played a fantastic game. All players worked hard the entire weekend, especially Genna Purcell who worked and played incredibly well this weekend.

Junior Girls “B” Soccer
The Junior Girls B Soccer team finished their short season on a very strong note. Their last fixture of the season was a soccer jamboree that included Shawnigan A/B, Claremont B and St. Margaret’s. The team had already had a very successful game against St. Margaret’s in league play with a 6-1 victory, so they did not play them at the jamboree.

The girls proved to themselves and the coaching staff that they have definitely improved this season as individuals and as a team. With a strong attendance in these last two games, the team demonstrated a solid understanding of basic soccer concepts and skills they had worked on in practice. Each player showed aggressive one-on-one play, with a great awareness of the space. Every goal was a team effort. They beat Claremont B, and had a great game against Shawnigan A/B, but unfortunately lost to them 4-3. However, head referee, Peter Songhurst, commented on how enjoyable the game was to referee. Congratulations to the team for having such a great finish to the season.

Cricket
SMUS Cricketers last week had two wins, against the Stonewallers and Stelly’s. Bowling averages were headed by Nathan Haussmann with an average of 1 wicket for every 2 runs scored off him and Bhupinder Dulku with 1 wicket for every 3 runs. Batting averages are headed by Ben Effa with 27 runs per inning and Jamie Saunders with 10 runs per inning. The next fixture for the team is on Monday, against the ‘Wicket Maidens’.

Middle School Rugby
The Middle School rugby jamborees held this past week at SMUS were a resounding success. The Grade 6 and 7 teams both hosted their respective end of Victoria season nine aside jamborees on Wednesday May 7th. Some 400 plus students from nine Grade 6 schools and twelve Grade 7 schools, including George Bonner from the Cowichan Valley and Collingwood, St. Georges and Mulgrave from Vancouver, filled the playing fields all day long with sixty-four games being played.

The SMUS Grade 6s competed solidly throughout the day, and although not always with the final score line in their favour; they continued to show signs of promise for the future.

The nineteen member Grade 7 side played some of the best skilled and all round rugby of the day. Though they went down in extra time in the quarter-final, many observers commented on their superb skill levels and ability to keep the ball alive, and also defended bravely despite their relative size difference to some of the other sides. Many also commented that the playing levels and parity amongst the Grade 7 schools was some of the highest seen in many years. The Grade 6 and 7s finish their season with an away trip to the ISA Middle School Tournament in Vancouver on Thursday May 15th.

The SMUS Grade 8 players hosted their season-ending Victoria area jamboree with 11 schools and 200 players competing on Friday May 9th. SMUS had two teams in the tournament, with the B side containing a number of Grade 7’s who had competed two days earlier. They found the going tough in their morning play but bounced back in the afternoon to secure two wins and come close to a third. Top performers of the day were captain Jonty Considine, centre/wing Jake Hayes and prop Colin Hawes.

The A side coached by Mr. Gary Bryan were unbeaten against local schools going into the day’s play and began their round robin play in similar fashion. They successfully defeated Glanford in their quarter-final and faced a tough Royal Oak side in the semi-final, which was eventually won in extra time. GNS defeated Monterey in the other semi-final. The final against GNS was a seesaw affair with both sides playing a highly skilled, physical game. This too went into extra time, with GNS scoring to win after some five further minutes of play. It was a tough loss for the SMUS team, but they can look back on their season, including fall rugby, and see just how far they have come in terms of their play and ability.

It is too difficult to distinguish any individual performers in what was clearly a team effort. Congratulations on a stellar season.

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