Athletics Week in Review: October 7

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A large group of interested athletes came to rowing tryouts and were measured in a series of fitness events. They also went through an orientation at the SMUS Rowing Centre and enjoyed the cool waters of the Gorge for the annual swim test. Following three weeks of land and water training, the team competed in the Greater Victoria Youth Rowing Society September Sprints, a series of races over a 500m course. Sunshine and flat water made for perfect conditions. Congratulations to all those who competed, but in particular to the gold medalist Jr. A and Jr. B Novice Girls 8+ crews, and also to the Jr. B Novice Boys 4X who finished third.

October shapes up as an exciting month. SMUS will race at the GVYRS October Classic before hosting the inaugural interclub Cake Race.

Senior girls volleyball participated in the Camosun High School Volleyball tournament October 3-4. The team topped its pool, defeating Reynolds, John Barsby and St Margaret’s in straight sets. In the playoff round, SMUS battled well but went down to Timberline, before bouncing back — behind strong play from Beta Willeboordse and Silke Kuhn — to defeat Crofton House.

In the final match, the Blue Jags slipped by Dover Bay 2-1, finishing the competition 9th out of 24 teams. Seniors Megan Harrison, Jen Shan, Alex Nesnidalova and Keeley Copeland all provided energy and strong leadership in advance of upcoming league matches on October 7 vs PCS, Reynolds and Lambrick Park.

The Junior girls volleyball team traveled to Nanaimo to take part in the Vancouver Island University Invitational event. An excellent effort by all players was capped by an exciting three-set victory against St. Thomas Aquinas in the Silver tier final.

In Senior boys soccer action, SMUS made a very strong opening league statement, roaring out of the blocks to beat St. Andrew’s. In a first half blitzkrieg, the Blue Jags registered eight goals en route to an unexpectedly one sided 9-1 victory. Some clinical buildup work allowed both Matty McColl and Brian Im to notch four goals each before intermission, while Callum Montgomery also tallied. To the Sabres’ great credit, they stabilized after the initial onslaught and converted a well deserved PK to draw the second half 1-1. SMUS continues in league play October 7 and 9, hosting Belmont and Reynolds.

On the Junior boys’ level, SMUS, behind good interplay, accurate crosses and solid performances by Duc Khuong and Donovan Sturdy, won 5-0 at St Andrew’s. Jim Newman, Ben Wingert, Max Goodyear and Finn Goodyear (2) were the goal scorers. Next up for the team are league games at Mt. Douglas and Oak Bay.

With the Senior girls focused on a heavy practice week, the Developmental field hockey squad managed two games, battling impressively to draw 0-0 vs GNS, before falling 2-1 in the final minute to Oak Bay. Kenny Shokoya continued her fine play, adding another goal to her growing season total.

Eighteen members of the Senior squash team competed at the Vancouver Island Open October 3-5. In the Men’s B event, Euan Hannigan won four of five matches, including a quarterfinal battle vs teammate Robert Fisher. Mark Felea-Motet, Matthew Wong and Nathan Von Hagen also performed well.

On the Women’s side, Grace Thomas reached the final of the Open Division while Madison Liew did likewise in the A flight. Alex Brown, Flora Feng, Sun-Eui Choi and Uma Hallea also played strongly and continues to develop.

SMUS now begins preparation for the Evergreen Junior Open, scheduled for Vancouver in three weeks’ time.

The cross country season opened October 1 at Lambrick Park with 35 SMUS runners taking part. In the 4k girls race, Grade 9 standout Maia Watson paced herself extremely well to finish in second place, while Acacia Welsford battled hard to claim third place. In the boys’ 6k event, Lucas Simpson stuck with the lead pack and eventually placed third, while David Cunningham ran steadily to place 11th.

Overall, SMUS, in addition to fielding the largest team, were first in the Grade 10 girls competition, second in both the Senior girls’ and Grade 10 boys’ divisions, and fourth place in the hotly contested Senior boys’ category. The next race is set for Wednesday, October 8 at Beaver Lake.

photos by Stephanie Anter (rowing) and Brady Doland (field hockey).

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