Athletics Review: Sep 21-27. 2009

Grade 9 Cross-country
The Grade 9 runners had great results in their first race at Beacon Hill this Wednesday. It was a demanding 4km race and the team had a spectacular start to the season with both the girls and boys teams finishing in first place as a team, thanks to their excellent times.
Girls: First place team (Erin Hope, 4th; Allie White, 5th; Meriah Drabkin, 8th; Jocelyne Yan, 9th)
Boys: First place team (Dawit Workie, 4th; Jason Chiu, 10th; Alec Kinahan, 12th, Wayne Lin, 13th)

Senior Cross-country
The Senior cross-country team headed to Beacon Hill Park last Wednesday for the first meet of the season. The 29 runners tackled a mainly flat course in near perfect conditions.

In the girls 4k event, newcomer Hanna Nielsen stole the show by winning the Grade 10 race. Kariesa Van Zyl and Alexis Thind were not far behind, placing in 8th and 9th respectively. At the senior level, SMUS shone brightly as cross-over athlete Raquel Solmer finished in 2nd place and Laura Dale came in 4th. Lisa Evans also just made it into ribbon-status with her 15th place finish and the SMUS Senior girls team finished in 2nd place.

In the boys 6k event, Cole Turner paced himself well in the Grade 10 division and finished strong with an 8th place finish. Ephraim Lam and Samuel Jackson also survived the distance and finished in 12th place and 13th place respectively. On the Senior front, Leo Marchand did very well to finish in 11th place, while Mark Wizinsky and Chris Madsen also cracked the top 20.
The season is early still, but the coaches are extremely pleased with the progress thus far and believe that qualifying for the provincials in both the girls and boys is a definite possibility. Determination, commitment and intensity will be needed in the weeks to come if the team wishes to realize this lofty goal.

The next meet is Wednesday, September 30th at Lambrick Park Secondary School.

Senior Badminton
The Senior badminton team was challenged last Friday to an exhibition match against Mulgrave Secondary School. Even though Victoria schools play badminton in the winter season of play, the Lower Mainland school play in the fall. Therefore, when SMUS was issued the challenge in this off-season event, the Senior badminton team had to defend this challenge.
So, the call went out, and eventually a rag-tag group of SMUS badminton players was organized. It was evident that even from the warm-up that many players had not seen a badminton racquet since last spring. However, in typical SMUS fashion, the team came out playing with heart and pride, and Mulgrave was simply not at the same level as SMUS. In the end, it was a convincing 9-2 win for SMUS.

On the girls’ side, the squad of Helen Ip, Candice Ip, Monica Lee, Stacie Hoi, Laura Simandl and Becky Thomas really stepped up to the plate and dominated from the opening point. On the boys’ side, there were a couple of difficulties, but the team of Ross Prager, Michael Ip, Victor Ma, Ethan Lee, Joe Ekthumrong and Frank Chang held their own for most of the contest. While the SMUS girls appear strong, the SMUS boys’ may be the best in the province. It certainly should be an amazing time when badminton season arrives.

The next competition for the team will be in late October at the annual ISA Tournament.

Grade 8 Rugby
Grade 8 rugby began their fall season of play this past Saturday with a visit by St. George’s School from Vancouver. With only 15 boys currently involved, the team is playing 11aside games rather than the usual 13aside. As expected the St. Georges team were much larger and more athletic team, and the result on the day was secondary to player development. The team never stopped trying and showed encouraging signs the more the game went on. Though teamwork was the focus for the day, players worth mentioning for their promising play included fullback Jacob Wilson-Potter, lock Jordan Lane, and prop Abrahim Kharaghani. Much work will be done on defensive understanding and tackling prior to next Saturday’s game away at Shawnigan Lake School.

Senior Boys A Soccer
The Senior boys A soccer squad kicked off their short regular season Tuesday with a match against Esquimalt. Striker Jamie Yorath, freshly returned from the prefect retreat, was in fine form, and began almost immediately to create chances up front. He scored his first goal off a beautiful cross from winger Ben Beaudoin, who slipped the ball past an Esquimalt defender with a mesmerizing pull-back-and-push manoeuvre. Yorath continued his stunning play, scoring two more goals in quick succession. After several near-misses, including an unsuccessful bicycle-kick, tenacious winger Simon Freidli notched another goal, putting us up by four. In the second half, the squad continued to dominate play.

Pushing forward, fullback Anthony “the Alberni All-Star” Sharma deftly overlapped the Esquimalt defensive line and fed the ball to attacking midfielder Tycho Mommsen-Smith, who scored off his own rebound. At the other end of the field, a potential Esquimalt goal was averted by quick thinking full-back Mike Fualiefau, who headed the ball away from net when keeper Kieran Sharpe was caught out of position after a big save. Following a fourth goal by Yorath, a foul allowed Esquimalt to score off a penalty kick. In the final minutes of the game, another foul led to another goal by Esquimalt, making the final score at 6-2 for SMUS.

On Thursday, the squad faced off against a skilled Lambrick side on their home turf. Again, the lads were slow to begin connecting passes. Within five minutes, Lambrick had scored a goal. Soon, however, the team began to find their groove and to feed balls forward to striker Jamie Yorath, who put real pressure on the Lambrick defense. He was soon joined by captain Tycho Mommsen-Smith, who nearly scored with a shot that bounced back out from the cross-bar. By the beginning of the second half, our boys were dominating play, particularly in the midfield, thanks to the efforts of Colin Smith and captains Alex Harvey and Mommsen-Smith.

On the backline, Marc van der Wal put in another particularly gritty performance, denying Lambrick several promising scoring opportunities. Another unfortunate breakdown, however, led to a second Lambrick goal. Still, the lads quickly rallied, and again began peppering the Lambrick keeper with shot after shot. On the left side, graceful winger Charlie Southwell displayed an almost magnetic ability to keep possession of the ball as he dribbled through defender after defender. SMUS scored its first long-overdue goal off a penalty kick by Mommsen-Smith, after Southwell was fouled inside the Lambrick box. The final ten minutes of the game saw some of the most exciting soccer ever played by a SMUS team.

Time and time again, our boys came within inches of scoring. Indeed Tycho, Jamie, and Jure Erlic all had shots that nearly crossed the goal-line. Even central defender Travis Denley managed a near-miss after carrying the ball forward all the way forward from our end. So intense was this pressure that the end of the game could not come quickly enough for the Lambrick coaches, who surely know they were extremely lucky to manage a 2-1 result. Our boys truly played their best soccer ever — even if the score did not reflect that. Indeed, in the words of coach Foster, never in his experience has a team dominated play and had so many scoring chances yet not manage to score. The coaches wish to congratulate the team, and hope that they will continue to play at this level in the games to come!

Junior Boys Soccer
The boys got their season going with solid performance against a strong Reynold’s side. Although the boys ultimately lost this first game, they played with great passion and conviction. Georgious Ikanomou had a couple of great shots saved by the Reynold’s keeper, and Cole Tamburri was excellent in goal for SMUS, making a number of great stops. The boys have a busy week ahead as they host St. Andrew’s on Monday, Lambrick on Wednesday, and the ISA Tournament on Friday.

Field Hockey
It has been an exceptionally busy week for the field hockey girls at SMUS over this last 10 days. After competing in the Friendship Cup at Brentwood College last weekend, the girls were quickly back into business with league games this week, followed by the Senior ISA tournamant at Glenlyon-Norfolk School on Friday and Saturday.

In league play, SMUS team #1 tied 2-2 with Claremont in a very exciting, end-to end game. Goals from Cleo Valentine and Janine Hsu were just rewards, and with a couple of seconds remaining, Janine Hsu hit a post in dramatic fashion. Considering Claremont is an AAA team, this was an encouraging result. Meanwhile, SMUS team #2 demolished Vic High School 4-0 with a fine all-round performance from the experienced players and the newcomers to the senior league. Ayla Fowler scored twice, while Paula Weech and Anita Chow rounded off the scoring.

On Wednesday, SMUS team #1 roundly demolished Reynolds in a one-sided game 6-0, with Cleo Valentine scoring a hat-trick, while SMUS 2 struggled against the skill and experience of the same Claremont team that the 1st team played on Monday; nevertheless, there were many positives emerging, not least the play of some of the Grade 9s as well as Bonnie Moore and Zonnie Tsai at the back, as well as stellar goalkeeping from Nuraiyah Kassam.

The ISA tournament was a chance for SMUS to assess their credentials against some of the top independent schools in BC and the team finished a very credible 3rd, tying the eventual champions, Brentwood College, 2-2, and narrowly losing 1-0 to the runners up Crofton House. Allied to a 1-0 win over GNS, and scoreless tie against York House, the coaches, David Kerr and Nancy Mollenhauer, were very pleased with the commitment and potential shown by the team. Stand out players worthy of mention include Grade 8 Jenna Dhillon in the midfield, Emma Abrioux, a stalwart in the defence, and the amazing energy and speed of forwards Teryl Noble with Paula Weech. Meredith Witoski was superb as a stand-in sweeper, while the mixing of different grades amongst the players was especially pleasing. Finally, in amongst all this action, everyone enjoyed an outstanding evening of fun and food at a team dinner on Friday at the MacLeods house (Kirsten’s home) – a big thank you goes out to them for hosting a wonderful time. Well done, SMUS field hockey players for all your accomplishments over the last week!

This week will see SMUS team #1 play SMUS team #2 on Monday, and one match on Wednesday against Oak Bay.

Senior Girls Volleyball
The Senior girls volleyball team was on Saltspring Island for the Gulf Island Tournament. The girls played three games on Friday, winning one of them and losing the other two. The girls were then up bright and early for their final round-robin play against Ladysmith. Although, the girls started out strong, they lost in two games straight and they dropped to the consolation side of the draw. With the expectation of winning the consolation, the team easily beat North Island Secondary and Chemainus Secondary and met their goal.

The girls finished 7th but the team is coming together and is looking very promising! Shayla Baumeler dominated with her aggressive serving. Annie Pike was an offensive force at the net and a great digger in the back of the court. The whole team showed signs of growth and given time, we are confident that every girl will have her time to shine this season.

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