Athletics Review: June 1, 2009

An incredible week for SMUS rowing!
Seven SMUS athletes entered seven events at the Canadian Secondary Schools Rowing Association (CSSRA) Championship Regatta in St. Catharines Ontario. As they competed for national titles, the SMUS team made five event finals! By the end of Sunday, SMUS held three national titles (gold medals), a bronze medal as well as a 5th, an 8th and a 10th place national ranking.

Senior Mens Double (2X): 8th (out of 39)
Maxim Ellison (Grade 10) and Jonathon Cunningham (Grade 12)

Senior Mens Single (1X): 10th (out of 27)
Jonathan Cunningham’s first time racing the single!

Junior Mens Single (1X): 5th
Maxim Ellison

Junior Womens Single (1X): Bronze
Michelle Aylard (Grade 10) in the final!

Senior Womens Quad (4X): GOLD
Maryann Watson (Grade 11), Lexi McColl (Grade 12), Michelle Aylard (Grade 10) and Caryn Dooner (Grade 11)

Senior Womens Double (2X): GOLD
Maryann Watson (Grade 11) and Elizabeth Fenje (Grade 12)

Senior Womens 63kg Single (1X): GOLD
Elizabeth Fenje (Grade 12)

In the overall points title, SMUS placed 11th (out of 70) schools competing and in the girls’ points title SMUS place 3rd (in front of big schools from the east and west, such as Shawnigan and Brentwood College).

A truly remarkable effort by these seven SMUS athletes!

Senior Girls Soccer
The team headed off to provincials on May 27th in Campbell River for their third appearance in four years. Spirits were high off the Island Championship win a few weeks before.

The first game of pool play was against Sands from Delta. Once initial nerves wore off, the girls settled and began to play ‘SMUS’ soccer, moving the ball around and creating opportunities. Score at the half was 0-0. In the second half, the team hit their stride and scored two goals. One by Lisa Evans off a corner kick from Lauren Kipp and the second goal was a penalty shot taken by Lauren Kipp. Final score was 2 – 0. This first important win set up the games to come.

The second pool game was against J.L. Crowe from Trail. Once again SMUS was controlling the play against a tough, hard-tackling Kootenay squad. The teams were deadlocked at 0-0 at the half. Early in the second half, Teryl Noble hit a great strike from 25 yards out for the 1-0 lead. The team continued to dominate with a second goal from Charmaine Niewerth and a third from Lisa Evans. J.L. Crowe battled to the final whistle. Final score was 3 -1.

The third and final game of pool play for SMUS was against defending provincial champions St. Thomas More Collegiate from Vancouver. SMUS had calculated the points and knew that a tie was only needed to win the pool. This would be the toughest game in pool play. STMC was fast and skilled. The game was fast-paced with both teams having their fair share of opportunities to score. SMUS defended extremely well in the closing minutes as STMC was pressing hard for the win. The score remained 0-0 at full-time. Onto the semi-finals!

The semi-final game that afternoon was against Kalamalka from Vernon. This was an absolutely outstanding team effort and by far the best game SMUS had played to date. Kalamalka was tough and fought for every ball – SMUS matched them tackle for tackle. The Blue Jags had several chances where the ball went just wide of the net. The fans on the sidelines were living and dying on every play. With four minutes remaining and overtime looming, a penalty shot was called against SMUS.

The Kalamalka player placed a perfectly hit shot in the back of the net. Now, only four minutes remained with hopes of sending it to overtime. It was not to be.

The girls were very disappointed, as they had outplayed Kalamalka for most of the game. Some notable players were Genna Purcell, who threw her body into each and every tackle; Ciara Glen, who was outstanding in central midfield; Teryl Noble, who put numerous great balls through with her great skill and dogged determination; Annie Pike, who was unbeatable on the back line; and Maddy Petersen, who kept their exceptionally fast outside midfielder frustrated with her close marking.

With the disappointment of the semi-final behind them, the girls rallied their strength and spirit for what would be the most physically and mentally demanding game of the tournament, SMUS versus Archbishop Carney from Vancouver. The girls huddled together before kick-off for what would be the final game of their SMUS career for the Grade 12 players on the team. They came out flying and clearly Carney was not prepared for the onslaught, as they did not get out of their end for the first 15 minutes of the game. Eventually, they regrouped and the game ran from end to end at an incredible pace. One run from their outside midfielder produced a splendid cross as one of their strikers had slipped behind our defence and headed a light touch just over the hands of keeper Olivia deGoede.

The girls maintained their resolve to not let this get them down and the game resumed at the frenetic pace. Several chances were had at both ends and each keeper made several key saves. With time winding down, Lauren Kipp was pushed up to join the strikers in hopes of a tying goal. Time ran out and the final score was 1 – 0 for Archbishop Carney. SMUS finished in fourth place – the highest placing for a senior girls soccer team at provincials in the history of the school! Of note, Nicole van der Wal was named to the Commissioner’s 16 for her outstanding service and commitment to the team this year.

The team had an amazing season with an outstanding group of girls. They grew as soccer players and individuals on a quest that started off at a tournament in Chilliwack on April 3rd and 4th, ending with a truly outstanding team effort at the provincials.

Senior Boys Rugby
The TV program “Wide World of Sports” coined the famous phrase “the joy of victory and the agony of defeat.” For the SMUS 1st XV, the above axiom came true at the BC AAA Rugby championships, held May 27-30 at UBC.

In the quarter-final match, against Robert Bateman from Abbotsford, a dream start saw SMUS off to a 14-0 lead after only four minutes. After that, the game settled down to a less frenetic pace, with both sides getting multiple scoring chances. In the end, a brace of tries from each of Mike Fuailefau, Conor Mackenzie and Tom Bridger, in addition to four conversions from the latter, ensured a 38-15 win.

This victory set up a much anticipated semi-final tilt vs #2 ranked and favoured St. Georges. In what will go down as one of the most thrilling games in tournament history, SMUS, by virtue of a superb multi-phase team try capped off by winger Charlie Southwell.

With only eight minutes to play, SMUS looked down and out at 14-3, before a superb Bridger run of some 50 meters;and subsequent conversion narrowed the margin to four points. Then, as the stadium clock ticked down to zero, the team won a lineout near halfway. With one final chance, a clean catch by captain John Humphries set up a simply magnificent, skilful and patient move of some twenty phases. Any slip up along the way would have meant the end of the game; instead the players kept their composure under the most difficult circumstances to register the winning score.

To say the try set off scenes of jubilation would be an understatement, as all the players rightly celebrated a stirring win of 15-14.

Number eight Mac Stone chose a fine time to play his best game in a SMUS jersey, while Bridger, lock Chad Margolus, flanker Luke McCloskey and scrumhalf Marc van der Wal were also outstanding. Indeed, just prior to the match winning score, McCloskey and van der Wal had helped engineer a Houdini-like defensive escape from what would have a game deciding St. Georges try.

And so it was on to the final against Shawnigan. SMUS simply exploded out of the gate, playing all the rugby and running the top seeds ragged. A loose final pass sabotaged two certain scores, while a McCloskey charge down of a kick, covered in goal by Stone, was for some reason ruled out by the referee. Finally, with another scintillating run, Bridger broke through for a try by the posts and a 7-0 lead.

Then, unfortunately, the momentum shifted. A dropped kickoff reception allowed Shawnigan momentum from the ensuing restart, which was duly turned into seven points and a tied score-line at halftime. This control continued in to the second stanza, even though SMUS battled courageously for a way through a well organized defence. Fuailefau was just unable to hang on to a pass after a searing break from Alex Harvey, while dangerous Beau Parker was almost away on two occasions up the right wing.

Finally, after prolonged pressure, Shawnigan scored a second converted try to lead 14-7. Then, with time almost up, a third marker pushed the final to 21-7 and with it a deserved championship.

For SMUS, the absolute joy of two days previous was watered down with disappointment. Nonetheless, the players can take huge credit for a wonderful performance in the tournament. In terms of effort, character and determination, nothing more could have been asked of them, and the tournament capped a successful season.

Jared Sweet was named to the Commissioner’s XV for his outstanding play throughout the season.

Tennis
The tennis team travelled to the provincial championships for the first time in seven years this week. The team was seeded second and placed in the Yellow Pool along with King George of Vancouver and Sa-Hali of Kamloops. The team faced King George in the opening round of the tournament. They started with a 6-2 win by Kenzie Scott and Celine Lo, followed by a 6-2 win from Victor Shang and Marion Pho-Duc and a 6-4 win from Phil Petranek and Alex Preis. Justus Koenigs and Paula Weech continued their strong singles play, winning their matches 6-2 and 6-0 respectively.

On the reverse matches, Sammy Davis and Priya Mulgoankar won their match 6-0, Marian and Victor won their match 6-1 and Paula and Justus won the mixed 6-3, giving SMUS an 8-3 win over King George.

With Sa-Hali defeating King George, SMUS was guaranteed to move on to the championship knock-out rounds and some of the reserve players were put into play to gain valuable tournament experience. Celine Lo and Priya Mulgaonkar started things off with a 6-1 win, followed by a 6-2 win for Ross Prager and Victor Shang and then a tough 6-5 win for Sammy Davis and Ariel Sorley. Guillermo Rosique and Nicole Bainov had two tough singles matches and this had SMUS tied with Sa-Hali 3-3 before the changeover. Ariel and Rachel Wong took their reverse match 6-1 while Phil Petranek and Marion Pho-Duc won 6-0.

The match came down to the mixed doubles and two nationally-ranked players turned out to be too much as Justus Koenigs and Nicole Bainov fell 6-0. SMUS finished pool play 1-1 and would play Mulgrave in the championship quarter-final.

The team dropped both boys doubles matches 6-1, but were able to split the girls doubles matches, with Celine Lo and Kenzie Scott winning 6-2. Justus Koenigs continued his excellent singles play winning 6-1 but Paula Weech had a tough 6-5 loss, which meant SMUS was down 4-2 at the changeover. Though Ariel Sorley and Priya Mulgaonkar won 6-1, losses from Celine Lo and Kenzie Scott and Phil Petranek and Alex Preis meant that SMUS was down 6-3 and was relegated to the consolation round. Marian Pho-Duc and Victor Shang, and Paula Weech and Justus Koenigs were able to pull out 6-1 and 6-0 wins respectively and SMUS ended up losing the match 6-5.

The team next played MEI and hoped for a win that would see them play for 5th place. Unfortunately, the previous match against Mulgrave seemed to take some of the wind out of the SMUS sails and SMUS dropped both girls doubles matches, with Priya Mulgaonkar and Celine Lo losing 6-2 and Kenzie Scott and Ariel Sorley 6-5. Marion Pho-Duc and Victor Shang continued their excellent play, winning their 4th match of the tournament 6-1, and Alex Preis and Phil Petranek won their match 6-3. Both Paula Weech and Justus Koenigs were in tough and played well, but dropped their matches 6-0 and 6-2.

Priya and Celine were able to win their match 6-2 and Marian and Victor won their 5th match of the tournament 6-0, but it wasn’t enough, as both Sammy Davis and Rachel Wong, and Justus and Paula were defeated 6-2 and 6-0, respectively. However, Alex Preis and Guillermo Rosique were able to win a very entertaining 6-5 match after being down 5-3 and coming back to win it 7-4 in the tie-break, meaning SMUS lost it’s third match in a row 6-5.

Playing for 7th place, a very tired SMUS team showed up and were unable mount much of an effort against Southridge, losing 7-4. Alex Preis and Phil Petranek were able to win their match 6-1 and Ross Prager and Kristijan Gjorgjevik won their reverse match 6-2. However, the team of Marian Pho-Duc and Victor Shang must be given special credit as they won both matches 6-1, giving them seven wins for the tournament.SMUS finished the provincial tournament in 8th place.

Both coaches, Nathan Bailey and Michael Loomer, would like to thank the team for their efforts and wish Grade 12 players Guillermo Rosique, Marian Pho-Duc, Kristijan Gjorgjevik and Phil Petranek all the best in their future endeavours and the rest of the team all the best of luck next year.

Cricket
The cricket team beat Byrne Creek, one of BC’s finest school sides, on the weekend. Byrne Creek scored 162 runs and SMUS scored 164 runs with two wickets to spare. Nathan Haussman scored 26 runs Michael Smith scored 21 runs and Bhupunder Dulku captured two wickets.

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