Athletics Week in Review: November 4

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Pride of place in a successful and busy sporting week was a first SMUS provincial appearance in the 2014-2015 school year, as 20 runners represented the school in the BC High School Cross Country championship. Each of the four races at Westshore Parks and Recreation (Junior girls, Junior boys, Senior girls and Senior boys) featured fields of more than 250 athletes, competing over courses varying in length from 4.1 to 6.1 kilometres.

At the Senior girls level, Acacia Welsford finished in 45th position, while, as part of a 12th-place Junior boys team, Aubry Williams (20th) and Lucas Simpson (50th) both ran extremely well. In the Senior boys, while the group placed 17th overall, Michael Wong-Harrison (33rd) and Santiago Mazoy (44th) both cracked the top 50 in a blisteringly fast race.

Congratulations to the entire cross country team for its hard work this season!

In other news, after winning a third consecutive AA Island Championship a week ago, the Senior girls field hockey team then went on to defeat Reynolds 2-0 and again go undefeated in local league play.

As a result, on October 29 SMUS battled Oak Bay for the May Tully Shield, first presented in 1928 and awarded annually to the winner of a match between the top AA and AAA team in the city. In an entertaining game, the Blue Jags retained the shield, as goals by Anna Mollenhauer and Aveen Glen confirmed a 2-0 win.

The team is now finalizing its preparation for the BC AA Provincial Championships, to be held November 5-7 in Oliver.

In soccer, ​the Senior boys secured a coveted place in the Colonist Cup final by virtue of a 4-0 victory over Reynolds. The Roadrunners belied their fourth-place league status, producing a fine effort and matching SMUS in terms of territory and possession. However, the return of Harrison Giles in goal, and some timely first half strikes by Brian Im and Matty McColl, settled nerves. After intermission, Alec Keech extended the lead from close range after a superb build-up, before Im registered his brace by scoring in the final few minutes.

Before Colonist Cup duty against Oak Bay on November 12 — a game that will be live streamed at www.smus.ca/live — SMUS must first get through what promises to be a competitive Island AA tournament. This event, November 6-7 in Nanaimo, is the final qualifier for the provincials.

The Juniors also maintained their unbeaten record, completing league play at 7-0-1 by virtue of a solid 2-0 win vs GNS. Finn Goodyear notched both goals, while steady defending from Bryn Haydock and Donovan Sturdy helped ensure a clean sheet.

The team is now competing at the Island Junior finals, being held November 3-4 in Comox.

You can browse and download more photos from the Junior boys game versus GNS at the SMUS Photo Gallery.

SMUS rowing finished its 2014 fall season with the inaugural Cake Race.

With racing lineups and coaches picked randomly the week prior, teams first participated in two land training activities to accumulate points. In the final event, they rowed over a modified 1,000-metre course and competed in a themed costume event.

With athletes dressed as double stuffed Oreos, peas in a pod, aspiring coaches, Santa and his reindeer, and in other fancy attire, team spirit was undoubtedly high. After the racing, awards were distributed and there was cake for all. The weekend proved to be a highly enjoyable end to a successful fall season. Congratulations and thanks to all!​

You can browse and download more photos from the Cake Race at the SMUS Photo Gallery.

At the local Senior girls volleyball AA qualifier, held on November 1, SMUS went undefeated in round robin play against Pacific Christian, GNS, St. Margaret’s, St. Andrew’s and host Parkland. Setters Silke Kuhn, Robyn Noel, Keeley Copeland and Jen Shan led the way with consistently strong play.

With the win, the Blue Jags enter the AA Island Championships as the top South team. This competition, to be hosted at SMUS November 14 and 15, features eight schools, including BC No. 3-ranked Ladysmith, and BC No. 9 Brentwood.

In addition, city league play continues. SMUS entertains Belmont and Claremont on November 4 and then travels to Belmont the following week.

After journeying to St. George’s on October 23 for a final crossover league rugby game, SMUS then hosted the same opponent five days later in the championship game on Grade 9 Rugby Finals Day. The expected rain and high winds never materialized, with the match taking place in ideal conditions before an enthusiastic crowd and living up to advance billing.

After an initial feeling-out process — and some early St. George’s pressure was relieved by a booming Luke Rainier-Pope clearance — SMUS moved on to attack and came close to opening the scoring. However, some hasty decisions near the try line proved costly, and indeed, right on halftime, it was the Saints who dotted down under the posts to lead 7-0.

The second half was real drama, with both teams competing ferociously. Waves of SMUS pressure were finally rewarded when Tucker Forbes dove in at the corner to cut the deficit to 7-5. However, another St. George’s try with just minutes to play made it 12-5. A final desperate attack saw the home team duly rewarded, with Matt Hagkull blasting over and Ephraim Hsu converting to tie the scores.

A shared championship appeared likely, but the excitement was actually far from over. From the kickoff, a swerving run up the right touchline by Hsu took play well into the St. George’s quarter. Unfortunately, a interception then denied SMUS a last-second victory, with the visiting centre instead going the length of the field to claim the spoils.

You can browse and download more photos from the Grade 9 Rugby Finals at the SMUS Photo Gallery.

(photos by Brady Doland, Stephanie Anter and Tracey Hagkull)

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