The second week of school athletics proved very busy, with SMUS teams involved in multiple sports throughout the Lower Island.
After their success in the Friendship Cup last weekend, the Senior girls field hockey team found the going somewhat harder in dropping league matches to both Mount Douglas and Oak Bay. Having ruled the roost in the city the past four seasons, SMUS is slowly adjusting to the departure of numerous key seniors from the 2016 championship side. However, Cordel Tromp and Suzie Stone turned in notable efforts in midfield, with Judy Kim and Catharina Commichau solid in defence. Next up for the team is a key AA qualifying match against Glenlyon Norfolk School.
A Grade 9 boys squad traveled to Brentwood College for an exhibition jamboree, narrowly defeating the hosts before then losing to Shawnigan Lake School. Duke Curran, Michael Moulden and Jacob Lee led the way.
The Senior boys, featuring six returnees and six newcomers, roared out of the blocks in opening league matches versus Spectrum, Vic High and Edward Milne, before then running its record to 10-0 after pool wins against Timberline and Ucluelet on Day 1 of the Camosun College Invitational.
The following day, behind setter Tristan Kuhn and the powerful hitting of Ty Olynyk, Simon Gilmour and Nathan Von Hagen, SMUS rallied from one set down to defeat an athletic Gulf Islands squad 22-25, 25-20, 17-15.
The final four championship bracket proved to be more difficult, as the Blue Jags suffered their first losses of the season to veteran AAA squads Reynolds and Royal Bay.
On the Senior girls side, SMUS took part in the prestigious UBC Mizuno High School tournament. The event, featuring most of the province’s power programs, was excellent preparation for upcoming league play. Wonderful serving by Yue Ito sparked a narrow victory over Powell River Brooks, though Nanaimo District Secondary and G.W. Graham were then just a bit too strong in the remaining pool matches.
The following day, SMUS performed very solidly but could not finish key points in falling 2-0 to both Magee and Holy Cross. Sara Cui, Lindsay Gage and Taylor Noel were all prominent.
A good number of SMUS players took part in the Shawnigan Junior Open.
Brooke Herring took pride of place, reaching the final of the Girls Open draw. Oliver Kerr and Jay Herring both medalled in the silver competition.
Middle School athletes also played well, with David B., Katie H. and Lucas Q. all making a very good impression in reaching the podium in their respective events.
While Senior cross-country is still a week away from racing, the Junior School team, featuring some 40 athletes, has already competed twice. Congratulations to all who have practiced diligently and learned to run more efficiently. Owen (Grade 5), Elliana (Grade 4), Mya (Grade 4) and Jonathan (Grade 5) have all produced top-three finishes on a regular basis.
Junior boys and Senior boys soccer swing back into action next week, while rowing also looks ahead to its first competitive event.
(photos courtesy of Dionne Laslo-Baker, Joel Kiggundu and Gordon Chan)