Athletics Week in Review: September 30

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School sport in 2015-2016 is under way on many fronts, with multiple teams in action. Performances to date indicate another enjoyable and successful year is in the cards.

Senior boys soccer, having graduated a good number of seniors from the 2014 B.C. AA champions, fields a relatively young team, with two-thirds of the squad in Grade 11. Nonetheless, in a congested first three weeks, SMUS reached the final of the ISA Tournament, with wins over Shawnigan, West Point Grey Academy, and St. George’s, before bowing out to Collingwood. Then in local league play, the group fought off an enthusiastic challenge from St. Andrew’s, with captain Hari Ikonomou connecting from the penalty spot for the game’s only goal.

Defenders Ben Keep and Jonathan Sudul have been in good form, with Jamison Schulz-Franco and Felix Butterfield also playing strongly.

At the Junior level, SMUS has entered two teams in the local competition. Both have played a series of friendlies, with the A team dropping a narrow 2-1 encounter versus Reynolds before bouncing back to defeat GNS. The development squad has featured in two exciting, high-scoring shootouts versus Belmont and St. Andrew’s. Aidan Kerr, Julius Krueger, Owen Weismiller and Emilio Gonzalez-Luna have been prominent so far.

In field hockey, a young but talented 1st XI won all four of its games at the Friendship Cup before then notching wins over Oak Bay (2-1) and GNS (4-0) in league play. Then, in the ISAs played at Crofton House, the team moved smoothly through pool play en route to the final versus Collingwood.

In a dramatic match, SMUS drew level 1-1 early in the second half before goalie Mia Roberts saved a penalty with three minutes to play in regulation time. Then, from a counterattack, Olivia Donald slotted home what looked to be the decisive goal. However, just before the final hooter, the Cavaliers registered the equalizer.

In the shoot out, the teams remained level after five rounds, before Collingwood claimed the winner.

Anna Mollenhauer, Cordel Tromp, Aveen Glen and Chloe Keeler-Young led a strong team effort, with results suggesting SMUS will once again be very much in the BC AA title chase.

The development team, backstopped by Tireny Wuroala, has yet to concede a goal, defeating Oak Bay B and Reynolds 1-0 and playing to a scoreless draw at Brentwood. Emily Wu and Isabela Serhan have paced the attack.

In squash, 28 SMUS athletes took part in the Shawnigan Junior Open. Robert Fisher claimed second place in the U17 Silver Division, while Alex Brown bested teammate Rachel Yuen in the girls’ Silver event. Grace Thomas reached the final of the U19 competition, only to fall 11-9 in the fifth and deciding game.

Many less experienced players received their first taste of tournament action and will be the better for it as the circuit now moves on to the Vancouver Island Open.

Senior girls volleyball, SMUS, led by setter Silke Kuhn, began league play with convincing victories over Claremont and Stelly’s. As usual, competition for the three Island berths to the provincial AA tournament promises to be extremely tight.

The Junior girls performed well at the Brentwood tournament, improving with each outing and upsetting the hosts in pool play. SMUS travels to Langley this week to take part in the Trinity Western University Invitational.

The Grade 9 rugby group had its first action, travelling up Island for exhibition games versus Brentwood and Shawnigan. Jin Woo Park, Tristan Kuhn and Emilio Gonzalez-Luna did especially well, with the team benefiting greatly from the game experience.

In cross country, it has been the Junior School that has set the early season tone, participating in the local ISA races. At Windsor Park, Charlie finished strongly to win the Grade 3 girls’ division.

The next runs were held at Beaver Lake on a longer and more challenging course. Owen, Lucy, Kelsey, Ma’an and Reed were just some of the 45 SMUS athletes who ran well.

At the Senior level, the season opened at Lambrick Park in spectacular fall weather. Chrissa Tromp made an early move and then held on to win the Senior Girls 4k race, with sister Cordel then performing well in the Grade 9 event. Julia Southgate also ran strongly to finish 5th in the Grade 10 race, helping SMUS to a second place team finish.

Michael Wong-Harrison, Aubry Williams and Lucas Simpson paved the way for a second place team finish by the Senior boys, while good balance, thanks in part to Gabriel Reis and Jared Reis, saw the Junior boys top the podium.

Finally, the rowing squad took part in the annual Crabfest Regatta and then the Head of Hamster race. For most, it was the first time on the water in a competitive environment. All learned a lot and enjoyed the experience. The Senior Novice Women’s 8+ and Junior Novice Boy’s 8+ won their events, while Patricia Ye and Franca Pilchner took first place in the Senior Women’s 2X.

As part of team-building and cross-training exercises, some of the more senior oarsmen gained new skills by racing in a dragon boat event. This was a terrific experience, with all involved gaining new respect for paddling.

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