Some major hardware was up for grabs on a number of fronts, as local playoff action finished in advance of the Island and provincial championships.
At the Lower Island Golf tournament, played at Royal Colwood Golf Club, SMUS missed out on a tie with Belmont for first place by a single stroke. Jack Rothwell played beautifully in recording an even-par score of 70, while Adrian Hof, Liam Dyson (aided by a hole out from 130 yards on the 16th hole) and Matt Berntsen also contributed effectively. The team, with a shade more consistency, has a real opportunity to challenge in the upcoming Island AA competition.
SMUS hosted the Island Championships on May 18. Seeded second, the Blue Jags opened with an 8-3 win over Claremont. Sara Cui, Brooke Herring, Theo Wu and Reven Liu shone brightly. In the second match of the day, a much-improved Dover Bay squad gave the Blue Jags a little more trouble than expected. However, the home team showed resilience en route to a 9-2 victory.
As expected, SMUS then faced off against favoured Mount Douglas. After an upset win by Hank Qian in the boys A singles, the Blue Jags were only one match away from securing the title. However, an unexpected loss in the boys A doubles meant that first place would ultimately come down to the final mixed doubles match. After dropping the first game narrowly, Qian and Sonia Sun bounced back beautifully to draw level. The third and deciding game featured some brilliant play by both sides, before Mount Douglas emerged victorious 21-19.
SMUS remains on an upward swing heading into the B.C.s. The team enters the provincial finals June 2-4 in Richmond as the No. 10 seed.
SMUS battled hard at the Island tournament, playing very solidly but falling to a strong Shawnigan Lake School team in the semi finals. In a bronze medal match-up, the Blue Jags, behind a strong performance from the boys, dropped Lambrick Park 8-3.
Now comes the waiting game, as other zones look to confirm their representatives. A chance remains for SMUS to reach provincials if the Okanagan chooses not to fill its two allotted berths.
At the Senior girls level, SMUS produced a gutsy display against top seeded Oak Bay in the Ryan Cup, emblematic of City supremacy. On a hot afternoon at UVic, the Blue Jags rode some stingy defence and an opposition own goal well into the second half.
Eventually however, superior Oak Bay strike power proved the difference, with goals in the 53rd and 58th minute paving the way for a 2-1 victory.
Nonetheless, the overall team effort, with Taylor Noel, Sara Cui, Mia Roberts and Gabby Freer prominent, was impressive, and a good stepping stone for what proved to be a very demanding Island AA tournament, held at SMUS, on May 17 and 18.
In this event, after scoring 11 goals without reply in convincing pool wins versus Parkland, Carihi and Mark Isfeld, the Blue Jags squared off against North champion Ladysmith. A high-quality and very balanced 100 minutes of action failed to produce a goal, although the 49ers came ever so close in extra time. As is often the case in playoff finals, penalty kicks were required to produce a result. In the end, after a brilliant save by SMUS keeper Anna Mollenhauer, Meggie Edwards stepped up in round five to slot home the winner.
The team now moves on to the B.C. AA tournament, set for June 2-4 in Campbell River.
Track and Field
SMUS gave another solid team effort at UVic’s Centennial Stadium in the Lower Island Meet on May 11, claiming third place overall in the boys division. Conrad Chin won the triple jump (12.35m) and claimed silver in the long jump (5.87m) and javelin (46.50m). Aidan Cole, with a 4th-place finish in the shot put and third in the discus, also contributed valuable points, as did Ryan Hindson in the jumps. On the girls side, bantam Danae Gendall dominated both the 100m and 200m, with times of 13.34 and 27.60 respectively. Overall, SMUS athletes produced 15 personal best performances on the day.
In the Islands May 18 and 19, with long-standing meet records falling at every turn, SMUS found the going tough. However, congratulations are in order for Chin, Gendall and Hindson, all of whom qualified for the June 3-4 provincial meet in Nanaimo.
SMUS was involved in its first competition of the season May 14 at the Royal Victoria Yacht Club. Jasper Johnston, Kimberly Chong, Ricky Fabris, Tayte Gossling, Oliver Kerr and James Chen, in quite windy conditions, all recorded first place finishes. The team will look to repeat as champions in the June 4 Vancouver Island regatta.
The 1st XV continued its recent strong form, dropping Oak Bay 22-0 in the Howard Russell Cup final. A large crowd witnessed a sterling defensive effort by the Blue Jags, in addition to a strong forward effort. Lucas De Vries, Hari Ikonomou and Bernardo Villegas scored the all-important tries, with Quinn Ngawati notching two conversions and a penalty goal.
SMUS then moved on to the Island AA final against Brentwood, the North Island champion. On another perfect afternoon, the Blue Jags, stung by conceding an early try, then rattled off eight tallies in a row. All were converted by Ikonomou, in what finished a 63-22 victory. Flanker Josh Graffi was in dominant form, carrying strongly and turning over possession at the tackle phase.
SMUS now looks forward to the B.C. AA tournament, set for Abbotsford May 25-28. Based on the above fine results, the team will enter the competition as top seed. Fans can follow the action at www.bcssru.com, with a number of the games streamed live.