Athletics Review: On an Even Keel

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by Darin Steinkey
With fall in full force, SMUS athletes brave the chill and sail into this week’s Athletics Review with toques firmly fastened.

Sailing
by Lizette Greyling

The first annual Vancouver Island Youth Regatta kicked off at Royal Victoria Yacht Club on October 27th, with over 20 SMUS students arriving in the pouring rain and cold to see flat calm waters. However, smiles appeared after a slight delay in proceedings because of a building breeze.

Race 1 began in every sailor’s dream of about 10 knots and dead flat water. The wind continued to pick up and at 18 knots the racing was cancelled and the more experienced sailors were allowed to let their sails out and enjoy the more challenging conditions.

The Middle School finished first with great individual results from Lucas Galloway and Marcus Miller.

The Senior School competed against some tough competitors with years of experience but still managed to claim fourth place with great individual results from Pablo Fernandez, Jasper Johnston, Nicholas Loughton and Jonathan Mostovoy.

Cross Country
by Jeff Hunt

The Island Championships took place last Wednesday at Beaver Lake. It was the premiere event of the season, and one that SMUS had been focusing on for the past several weeks. In all, 35 runners took part — the highest total in many years.

Under damp and mucky conditions, the girls race (of 200 runners) got underway and the SMUS team did not have the greatest start. However, by the end of the first 2k loops, SMUS runners found the top 25. The second loop proved to be challenging, as a few of our runners fell back in the standings. Grade 9 standout Robyn Noel was first across the line for SMUS in 26th place, with many others not far behind.

Nice surprises included Laura Woods, Olivia Donald and Acacia Welsford running extremely well. Unfortunately for SMUS, the girls team finished in 11th place – a mere six places away from a provincial qualification.

On the boys side, the competition was fierce and around 250 runners took to the trail, with all the runners finding their zone by the end of the first loop. A 6k distance is sometimes a test of how well an athlete can hang on, and Taylor Ellison and Gabe Lunn were in front for the SMUS boys, but a provincial individual qualification was not in the cards, as they finished 31st and 32nd respectively. Not far behind was Zach Khan in 50th place, and the trio of Chris Fenje, Luke Friswell and Michael Wong-Harrison finished in 60th, 61st and 62nd place respectively. The SMUS boys exceeded expectations by finishing in 7th place as a team and, all in all, it was a satisfying, yet slightly disappointing end to the season.

Many of our Grade 12 athletes are good enough to be at the Provincial Championships and they deserve to go. However, the season comes to a close on a positive note. SMUS finished third in the girls and fourth in the boys. Many of our strongest runners are still in the junior ranks and with continued participation rates SMUS will be a force in 2013. Coaches Tobacco and Hunt thank all athletes for their participation and effort.

Grade 8 Rugby
by Bruce Kuklinski

In the last two weeks, the SMUS Grade 8 team hosted Shawnigan Lake School and made a trip to George Bonner School. The game against Shawnigan was a very close one, with both teams playing some very good rugby, finally seeing SMUS come back from being behind throughout the match to score a try in the last play of the game to win. More importantly, the development of both teams from their previous encounter was evident throughout the match, with some tremendous running rugby. At George Bonner, the game was played in intermittent rain but this did not stop the SMUS boys from continuing their running game to score another victory.

The team wrapped up their fall season this past week with a trip to play at St. Georges School in Vancouver. The final match was an uneventful one and the sun even shone on proceedings, but did not though shine for the players early on. In the first half, ferry legs, limited tackling and less-than-required physical presence meant SMUS was behind by two tries and a penalty goal to just one try. Knowing they had not done themselves justice, the team began the second half with much more will and purpose, and the teams traded tries before SMUS scored another of their own to be behind 15-22 with eight minutes to play. Despite a strong scrum and carrying most of the second half play, a further try was out of reach by just a metre or two on more than one occasion. Unfortunately St. Georges scored in the last minute to jump away on the scoreboard. This did not detract from the much more committed approach the team showed in the second half, and their ability to come back against a large and physical side deserves great praise.

Throughout the season it has always been a team effort, but in the last weeks loose forward Jasper Bosley, centre Felix Butterfield, winger Eugenio Mondragon and his compatriot fullback Jose Martinez have been standouts. Grade 8 rugby resumes in the spring when their 7-aside season begins.

Senior Girls Volleyball
by Melanie Masson

The SMUS Senior girls competed in the ISA tournament at St. Margaret’s School here in Victoria this past weekend. The squad faced off against York House, the team they defeated just last weekend to win bronze at Westerns, in the first match of pool play. Unfortunately, this time the SMUS girls did not win the match but they started the tournament off with a solid start in all areas of play. The team did a good job winning their next two pool play matches against St. John’s and GNS to finish second in their pool.

On Saturday morning, SMUS played strong and won their quarter-final match, quite convincingly, against Collingwood. Advancing to the semifinal for the second weekend in a row, the girls competed against Crofton House, a squad who they billeted with and became close friends with last weekend. Both teams struggled in this match and unfortunately for the SMUS squad Crofton advanced to the gold medal match and SMUS the bronze. Battling it out for third place, the SMUS team was up against a wide awake West Point Grey team and ended up playing three sets but with a confident and strong finish the girls won their second bronze medal of the season.

This week the team competes in the Vic Lindal Cup in preparation for the AA playdowns November 6 and 8.

Junior Boys Soccer
by Jeff Taylor

After a regular season of winning games handily, the boys finished their quarter and semi-final matches by the narrowest of margins. These last two games were indeed nail-biters.

On Monday, SMUS hosted Mt. Doug in the quarterfinal match for the City Championship. Earlier in the season, the boys had beaten their opponents 8-0, so they were full of confidence. Within the first minute of play the Mt. Doug keeper came way out of his box to clear a long ball, but he missed, and Owen Sudul managed to sneak the ball away from the keeper and fire it past him. After this error, the Mt. Doug keeper was magnificent, saving shots from our relentless attacks. Our opponents had their opportunities, but Michael Cernucan and Hari Ikonomou were solid at the back, and Graeme Hyde-Lay had a brilliant game in net. The game ended 1-0.

After that close win, GNS was next up in the quarterfinals. SMUS won the previous meeting 6-0, but with Monday’s result still in their minds, the boys walked into this contest with a little trepidation. The opening play was fast and furious, with the opponent’s keeper making all the difference. Finally, in the 23rd minute, Kieran Large, from a throw-in, lobbed a ball into the box which the keeper fumbled and Matty McColl tapped in to make it 1-0. After 30 minutes, Kieran made an excellent foray forward and struck a fierce shot on goal, which again the keeper fumbled. This time, Owen Sudul was there to find the back of the net. Minutes before half, however, GNS got lucky as one of our defenders slipped, allowing for the attacker to go one-on-one with Ryan Totz in goal. Ryan was brave, but GNS grabbed one back.

Luck and momentum shifted a little in the second half, when the opponents scored after just seven minutes. The SMUS played a little nervously, but fought hard, creating many chances and attempts on goal. Again, the GNS keeper kept his team in the game until the end, when, after extra time, the boys were victorious in a penalty shoot-out, winning 7-6 after nine shooters. Graeme Hyde-Lay was fantastic in goal during the shoot-out, saving three from the spot!

SMUS will play Reynolds — the same team that beat us last year — in the city finals on Monday, providing a chance for sweet revenge. On Thursday and Friday, SMUS hosts the Island Championships, as the Junior boys challenge for a third consecutive trophy!

Senior Boys Developmental Soccer
by Sean O’Brien, assistant coach

With one game remaining on the schedule for the Senior boys soccer developmental team, the moment calls for reflection. After a difficult 2011 campaign, the Blue Jags have bounced back, creating quite a stir amongst staff, the Senior A team, and more importantly, themselves. This year’s roster is the most competitive developmental team to lace up for SMUS in the past decade, and that is no exaggeration.

Going into last Wednesday night’s semi final playoff game against the Spectrum Orange, the boys avenged their 2-0 loss from two weeks before. With higher intensity and good communication the boys pulled their record above .500 with a dramatic back-and-forth 4-2 win. Highlights included Will “Downtown” Brown draining the game’s second goal from well outside the 18-yard-box and Saheed Shokoya becoming the team’s leading scorer with an incredible hat trick.

The boys launched themselves into a finals matchup against Esquimalt on Wednesday October 31 for the Colonist Shield!

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