It was the usual busy sporting calendar in the period immediately ahead of the mid-term break, with two teams competing at BC championships and others manoeuvring their way through Island qualifiers.
The Cross Country squad took part in its provincial meet, battling horizontal rain and very slippery conditions over a 6.5km track in Nanaimo. Unfortunately, Kristina Matthews was bumped off-course halfway through the first lap, with her race ending prematurely after she crashed into a tree. The rest of the team, Emma Coetze, Angel Lan, Fionnuala McKenna, Kelly Jiang and Karina Morales all looked to pick up the slack, performing with great determination.
On the boys side, Jack Batoni completed a fine season by placing 105th out of 263 runners, showing his traditional grit and focus as the surface became increasingly muddy and treacherous.
Likewise, the Senior girls journeyed to Vancouver for its BC finals. A good start produced a 3-1 opening victory over L.V. Rogers, but disappointment was to follow in a 1-0 loss to South Kamloops. The Blue Jags dominated possession and peppered the Titan net with shots for the entire 60 minutes, but this did not translate into goals.
The unexpected loss proved very costly, as the team then dropped its final pool game to Shawnigan Lake School and so was relegated to the consolation side of the draw.
The team did well to bounce back in its final three games, beating North Delta 7-0, Glenlyon Norfolk School 3-2 and GW Graham 4-0 to finish in 9th place.
Throughout the event, Cordel Tromp notched six goals to supply the bulk of the scoring, with fellow senior Olly Parkinson also chipping in. Jessie Cheng competed well under pressure in goal.
Up-Island in Campbell River, the Senior boys team took part in the Island AA championships. In a very balanced group, SMUS let slip an early two-goal lead in a 2-2 draw versus Kwalikum before recovering, thanks to a brace of goals by Grade 10 call-up Callum Colgate, to drop Esquimalt 4-2. This set up a crucial encounter versus Brooks of Powell River, with the Blue Jags needing a win or a tie to top the pool. This was duly accomplished, with the 1-1 final just enough to propel SMUS to the tournament final versus host Carihi.
In the title decider, the back four of Lucas Bosley, Paul Mueller, Will Kinahan and Turay Akdogan, well supported by goalkeeper Franklin Liu, played magnificently under waves of pressure. However, when in possession, the team could not break down a well-organized, veteran Tyee defence, with Carihi deserving 2-0 winners.
The team now moves on to the BC AA finals, set for November 19-21 in Burnaby.
In other soccer news of note, alumnus Callum Montgomery ’15 led his UNC Charlotte side to the finals of the Conference USA tournament. The talented defender has been a stalwart in the 49er program for the past four seasons, winning multiple awards. His team now looks forward to its NCAA finals opener versus Georgia State on November 15.
Several members of the squash club traveled to Calgary to participate in the Alberta Jesters tournament. Both Christian Yuen, second at U15 level, and Lucas Q., third in the U13 Division, reached the podium.
Alex Brown, Sofia Quon, Jay Herring, Matias Totz, Ty D., Alden Weymar and Stanley Weng also took part and performed solidly.
On the volleyball court, the Senior girls finished second in the City AA tournament, edging Glenlyon Norfolk School and Edward Milne to qualify for the Islands. Tate Robinson’s consistent passing and excellent defence in the libero position proved crucial, while Ines Wang and Tatum Adair also made key contributions.
In the Senior boys’ City event, the Blue Jags beat Vic High before finally toppling on Pacific Christian School at semifinal level. The squad then rode this momentum to a fine 25-16 opening win versus Lambrick Park. However, the Lions then clawed back to win narrowly in three sets. Karter Fry and Ty Olynyk led the offence with some powerful hitting, while Noah Helman was his usual steady self. Peter King and Max Zhang produced some superb digs to keep rallies alive.
With the fine effort, the team moves to the Island AA qualifier, set for November 16-17 on Salt Spring Island. The hosts, SMUS, PCS and Lambrick Park should enjoy a great tussle for the three BC berths on offer.
The fall Rowing season concluded with the November 3-4 City Championship at Elk Lake. Competing as one of 16 schools, SMUS entered 15 of the 26 events on offer, reaching 13 finals.
Two days of excellent racing and teamwork resulted in SMUS capturing the Overall Efficiency trophy by a clear margin. Reflective of the overall commitment was Kelly Jiang, who literally sped back from the BC Cross Country finals in Nanaimo to partner Jaime Chow to a gold medal in the Senior Women’s 2X race. Seven other crews medalled in their races, with the 40-member team setting a solid foundation for both the spring season and the future.