Athletics Week in Review: May 16

Rugby

A stunning 45-metre penalty kick by Quinn Ngawati, on the final play of the game, saw SMUS conclude an exciting two weeks of sport with a thrilling 16-15 come-from-behind win for the 1st XV over Oak Bay in the Howard Russell Cup final.

Ngawati added two other penalties, in addition to converting a try by Euan Hannigan, as the Blue Jags recovered from a 15-3 deficit to remain unbeaten on the season.

In other rugby action, the SMUS 1st XV also upended B.C. AA No. 4 McMath by a score of 38-31. Owen Weismiller, Bryn Haydock, Sam Kahn and Felix Butterfield all featured prominently.

Next up is the Island AA final versus Brentwood on May 18, with a 4:45pm kickoff at the Mill Bay campus.

An injury-plagued Junior boys side was less fortunate, going down narrowly 24-21 to Claremont in City semi-final action. This time, a last-second scoring attempt failed narrowly. Max Nishima, Carlos Lerma and Will Kinahan played extremely well.

The girls’ 7s side took part in a week long exhibition series, with games versus Glenlyon Norfolk School, Edward Milne, Oak Bay, Reynolds and Spectrum. In this rapidly growing and increasingly popular sport, SMUS won three of five contests, with Angel Tsui, Tate Robinson, Chrissa Tromp and Andrea Menendez inspiring all with their gritty defence and clever play in attack.

Badminton

The team traveled to Nanaimo for its Island Championships. Seeded No. 2, the athletes made quick work of Claremont (8-3) and Dover Bay (10-1). This moved the Jags into the final versus nemesis Mount Douglas, with an unexpected loss early in the contest ensuring even more of an uphill battle. However, both Wilson Ye and Brooke Herring played wonderfully in their singles matches, while Rachel Wu and Sonia Sun held serve in doubles. Eventually, with the final tied at 5 games apiece, Reven Liu and Theo Wu staged a superb fight back in front of a large crowd to win a dramatic decider (20-22, 21-18, 23-21). The 6-5 victory was well-earned, with SMUS now heading to provincials in Richmond June 1-3 as the Island No. 1 seed.

Golf

The squad took part in the Lower Islands at Highland Pacific Golf Course. In tough conditions for scoring, Adrian Hof, Sam Whitten and Matt Berntsen did just enough for SMUS to claim a starting spot in the full Island Tournament, set to be held for the first time ever in Powell River on May 24-25.

Track and Field

The Junior girls turned in some wonderful performances, starting with Izzy Champion who won both the Grade 9 1500m and 800m (5.14:34 and 2.28:38). Angelina Shandro went one better in achieving the triple, taking the 100m, 200m and 400m, all in times very close to city records (12.92, 26.37 and 58.55). Next was Danae Gendall, who won the Grade 10 200m with a time of 27.60. These three sprinters then joined Ella Chin to capture the 4x100m sprint relay. To cap a stellar competition, SMUS then entered two teams in the difficult 4x400m relay, finishing first and third.

In the field, Chin won the javelin (29.77m), while Kenzi Farish claimed gold in the long jump (4.87m) before setting a city record (10.70m) in the triple jump.

At the Senior level, Chrissa Tromp continues to improve and produced an excellent second place finish in a very competitive 1500m field. Jumpers Ryan Hindson and Nathan Von Hagen improved their personal bests in the triple jump by close to a metre, placing first and second (12.45m and 12.43m). Hindson then went on to become a double winner with an excellent long jump of 6.01m.

Overall, SMUS was third in the team standings. All the athletes now look forward to the Island meet on May 17-18.

Rowing

Our rowers concluded an extremely busy couple of weeks, competing in both the Brentwood and Shawnigan regattas.

In the first of these two events, there were many top-three finishes, with the Junior B Men’s 4+ (Nathan Yang, Matthew Cormie, Matthew Jaffey, Liam Hodgins and coxswain Anna Considine) claiming another gold medal. The Junior B Men’s 4, Novice Men’s 4 and Junior A JV Women’s 4 all placed second, with the Junior B Men’s Double, Junior B Lightweight Men’s 4 and Junior B JV Women’s Quad all placing third.

At Shawnigan, there was plenty of hard work and many strong finishes, with some of the athletes competing in the last regatta of their high school careers. Once again, the Junior B Men’s 4+ won its race, with other SMUS crews claiming a further eight silver and six bronze medals.

For a number of rowers, the season continues for another three weeks, as preparation continues for the CSSRA National championships in Ontario June 2-4. Best of luck to all!

Soccer

The Senior girls played two games in the Ryan Cup playoffs, controlling the bulk of the action versus Stellys before Taylor Noel registered the winning goal. Riley Clare made a key late save to preserve the shutout.

This win moved SMUS into the quarterfinals against eventual champion Reynolds. Despite controlling play for most of the first half, the Blue Jags could not convert any of several grade-A chances, with the Roadrunners scoring shortly after the break to advance 1-0.

SMUS now looks ahead to the Island AA Tournament in Mill Bay. GNS, in addition to six well-balanced North zone teams, will contest what should be a very balanced and competitive event. The top three finishers qualify for provincials.

Sailing

A squad of 24 sailors split into two groups to compete May 13 in the Discovery Cup at the Royal Victoria Yacht Club. Shifting winds made for challenging conditions, but at least the day featured sunshine! SMUS 2, led by Andrea Ellsay and Matthew Owen-Flood, recorded a second-place finish, while SMUS 1 finished fourth overall.

Vivat!

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