Athletics Week in Review: May 22

Congratulations to the 32 SMUS Track and Field athletes who took part in the Vancouver Island Championships May 13-14. Over two busy days, athletes posted 24 personal bests while the SMUS team qualified five individuals for the BC Championship meet in early June.

Those competing in this provincial event include Lucas Simpson, in both the 800m and 1500m, and Jayne Leggatt in the high jump. Silke Kuhn also qualified in the 800m. Conrad Chin threw a personal best in the javelin while Abdul Shokoya placed second in the 200m before dominating a very fast and exciting 100m final.

Well done to these athletes and the rest of the team for their hard work over the course of the season!

In the City Senior Boys AA Rugby final, SMUS, not without a struggle, finally subdued a stubborn GNS side to win 27-14. Aidan Cole opened the scoring from close range, before Warren Marriott also crossed. Two Matty McColl conversions extended the Blue Jag advantage to 14-0.

However, after missing an easy chance to further build the lead, SMUS conceded a try right on half time before then serving up an interception shortly after intermission. As a result, with twenty minutes to play, the score was deadlocked at 14.

However, Marriott then registered his second tally before a McColl penalty goal provided breathing room at 22-14. Josh Graffi completed another outstanding performance with a try right on the full time hooter.

SMUS now targets the BC AA tournament, opening May 23 against Seycove of the Lower Mainland zone. The anticipated return of Mitch Newman should freshen up the back line attack. The Blue Jags then move on to Abbotsford for the final three legs of the competition. The team, knocked out at semifinal level in heartbreaking fashion the past three years, will look once again to take the last step to the gold medal game.

Meanwhile, the Junior XV, fresh off its encouraging victory over Claremont, took on Oak Bay in the City championship. The tries certainly came thick and fast, with the Barbs notching three in the opening nine minutes to go ahead 19-0. However, behind Jasper Bosley, Donovan Sturdy, Bryce Forbes and Gabe Kingsley-Nyinah, SMUS clawed back to trail only 31-21 at the break.

In the second half, while Oak Bay got on the board first, the Blue Jags then put together some excellent multi-phase play to draw level at 36 with three minutes remaining. In fact, SMUS could have easily gone ahead only for two Bosley conversions to rebound off the post.

Extra time may have been looming, but incredibly there was still time for three more tries. Oak Bay, claiming a restart kick and then effectively using its fleet back line, scored the go ahead marker and then added an insurance tally. SMUS finished in style, combining well to go over near the posts, but in the end the Barbs advanced 50-43!

Both teams move on to the May 21-22 Island Tournament at Brentwood.

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