Athletics Week in Review: November 9

SMUS's Junior boys 8 rowers.

The first week of November saw several provincial titles up for grabs.

Field Hockey

It was with great anticipation that the Senior girls team headed to Surrey to compete for a B.C. AA crown.

Convincing performances against L.V. Rogers (6-0) and Southridge (5-1) meant that a subsequent 2-2 draw versus Seycove was enough for SMUS to top its pool, with the third-seeded Blue Jags then moving easily to the final four after a solid 4-0 quarterfinal win over Brentwood.

The semifinal against Collingwood proved to be the game of the season. Three short corner goals, finished off by Anna Mollenhauer (2) and Alexa Matthews, saw underdog SMUS lead for the majority of the contest. However, three Cavalier markers, also from short corners, the last with 10 minutes to play, knotted the score at 3-3. With the result then decided via the dreaded penalty shootout, SMUS suffered another heartbreaking provincial defeat.

The team was somewhat flat in the bronze medal match against Seycove. Neither squad could manage a goal in regulation, with the Seahawks eventually winning via penalties.

Nonetheless, overall it was another very successful season. All the Grade 12s completed their high school field hockey careers in style, winning three Invitational trophies and staying unbeaten in league play for a fourth consecutive year.

Special mention must be made of Mollenhauer, who, in scoring a quite staggering 63 goals, stood out in every competition. Just named the BC U18 Player of the Year, she will be, in addition, a key piece of the future Canadian Women’s program in the future. Vivat!

Cross-Country

While perhaps not considered among the pre-race medal contenders, the girls teams performed wonderfully at the provincial meet in Kelowna. The Junior girls, led by Fionnuala McKenna and Lene Goedde, well supported by Cordel Tromp, Emma Coetze, Vanessa Wedick and Angel Lan, placed 12th out of the 28 schools entered.

Not to be outdone, the Senior girls, having nabbed the fifth and final Island qualifying berth by the narrowest of margins 10 days earlier, produced a superbly balanced team effort to finish 8th overall among the 26 schools taking part. Chrissa Tromp (41st in a field of 240 runners) was the first SMUS runner home, with Maia Watson, Judy Kim, Julia Southgate, Valerie Swanston, Kristin Gage and Emily Stone also turning in personal bests.

Kudos in particular to the Tromp sisters and Kim, who competed in two B.C. championships (field hockey and cross-country) on the same weekend.

Volleyball

In Senior girls volleyball, SMUS completed a fourth-place league finish before reaching the Silver Tier final at the Belmont Invitational tournament. Jessa McElderry continued her excellent play, while middle hitter Taylor Noel gave a fine all-round performance.

The team now moves on to the Lower Island AAA playoffs this week, with the top three schools set to qualify for the AAA Islands. This latter event will be held at SMUS November 17-19.

Rowing

Rowing completed its fall season in the City Championship regatta, with 28 events taking place at Elk Lake under a mixture of sun, rain and gusting winds. In the end, SMUS placed 4th overall, and 2nd in team efficiency, from the 13 schools entered. Seven of the nine crews that qualified for finals reached the podium.

Claiming gold medals were the Junior boys 8 and the Junior boys 4X, with Matthew Jaffey, Liam Hodgins, Nathan Yang and Thomas Dansereau having the distinction of racing in both crews. Radha Raina and Terra Rolfe won silver medals in the Junior girls 2X, while Brynn Cathrea and Meg Montgomery did the same in the Senior women advanced 2X.

The Senior women 8+ and Junior novice men 8+ also finished second in their races, while the Junior girls 4X and Senior advanced women 1X (Montgomery) placed third.

Congratulations to all who took part.

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