Athletics Week in Review: April 30

It was an exciting, busy and successful week on all SMUS athletic fronts.

Badminton

The badminton squad completed league play with a 9-2 victory against Claremont Secondary before hosting the Independent Schools Association (ISA) tournament on April 25. In this event, the Boys defeated longtime rival St. George’s School to secure a third consecutive title in this event. The Girls also played well, finishing in second place to Crofton House. Reven Liu, Wilson Ye, Adrienne Ho and Jane Wong led the way.

Cross Country

Many SMUS students from our Junior, Middle and Senior Schools participated in the Times Colonist 10K race and the associated Family Run this past weekend. Grade 6 runner Owen S. recorded a blistering time of 40:43, coming in fifth overall in the Mens U19 category and finishing in an impressive 140th out of nearly 9,000 runners.

Golf

At the ISA Golf Championship, SMUS, behind the fine play of both medalist Sonja Tang and Jack Rothwell, came back from a five-stroke first round deficit to win the competition by three shots over second place St. George’s. Rothwell’s one-under-par 70 at Cordova Bay Golf Course led the Jags on Day 1, before a full team effort, sparked by Tang’s even-par 72 at Highland Pacific Golf Course, was just enough on the second day of play. Sam Whitten, Jay Park and David Simon also contributed to a wonderful overall showing. The squad now looks forward to both the City and Island events, with an eye on qualifying for the AA provincials at Pheasant Glen Golf Course in June.

Rowing

Multiple rowing crews took part in the 49th Brentwood Invitational Regatta last weekend. While strong winds over the three-day event played havoc with the schedule, in the end all races were completed, even though this meant a 6 am Sunday start.

Congratulations to the U19 Novice Women 4X+ and the U19 Novice Women 4+, both of which topped the podium. Silver medal finishes were recorded by the U17 Women’s 8+ and U17 Women’s 4+, with the U19 Novice Men’s 8+, the U19 Men’s 4+ and the U19 63kg 4+ each claiming bronze.

Of particular note was the performance on the U19 Men’s 4+ which, as the top Canadian finisher in its race, received an invitation to the Windermere Cup Opening Day Regatta in Seattle on May 4. Also on the horizon for all SMUS crews is the May 10-12 Shawnigan Lake Regatta. After this, selected crews will continue their preparation for the Canadian Secondary Schools Rowing Association regatta in St. Catharines, Ontario.

Rugby

The week was capped by Senior Girls Rugby securing first place at the CAIS 7s tournament in Hamilton, Ontario. Playing with great skill and consistency, SMUS won all six of its matches to claim the title, moving smoothly through pool play before claiming both the semi-final and final in emphatic fashion.

In ideal weather conditions, the Blue Jags opened with a 57-0 victory over Greenwood College School. Kenzi Farish was in top form, with the senior trio of Tate Robinson, Kiri Ngawati and Morgan Warner providing all the necessary build-up work and leadership. Hosts Hillfield Strathallan then proved to be worthy opponents, but, aided by newcomers Jessica Nonay, Eliska Slukova, Sophie Happi and the experienced Chloe Hill-Huse, the Blue Jags prevailed 27-5.

The following day the team continued its solid play, accounting for Bishop Strachan School 29-0 and Appleby College 32-5. Then came a day trip to Niagara Falls, with a trip through the tunnels beneath the falls much enjoyed.

Day 3 saw the end of the nice weather, with bitter cold and wind featuring in the semi-final, again versus an Appleby College side that had scrambled back to qualify for the playoff rounds. Nonetheless, another poised SMUS effort, with the Grade 12s prominent, produced a 33-7 win. This left the tournament final versus Ridley College. In a dominant display, the Blue Jags registered seven tries and played rock-solid defence en route to a 41-0 national championship, gold medal performance.

Back at home, the Senior Boys continued preparation for its much anticipated May 4 Alumni Weekend game versus Oak Bay. The event will also mark the 25th anniversary of the Boot Game, with SMUS needing a win to square the series at 12-12-1.

The Junior Boys competed in the provincial sevens tournament, and, following a silver medal finish a year ago, were somewhat dispirited to be placed in the same pool as favoured St. George’s. Though giving the hosts their toughest game of the tournament, SMUS fell 26-12, on its way to an overall sixth place finish. Joonha Yang, Tadeo Allerding, Michael Moulden and Duke Curran all performed strongly.

At the Middle School level, while the Grade 6/7 and Grade 8 teams have found the going tough against physically bigger and more experienced opponents, all the players have battled courageously and shown great improvement in terms of skill and game understanding. Kudos in particular to Will P., Matthew D., Kaden F., Joshua K., Matthew B. and Xander L. SMUS now looks forward to hosting the end-of-season jamborees on May 14 and 16.

Soccer

The Senior Girls ploughed through an extremely demanding run of matches, recording a 4-0 league win versus St. Andrew’s before dropping an exhibition contest to Vancouver AAA powerhouse Centennial. Then, at a windswept ISAs, a win and two draws was not enough to top the pool, though the Blue Jags completed the tournament with a 2-0 victory over York House in the bronze medal game. Claire Pontefract, Maggie Fekete and Margo Leggatt led the attack.

SMUS now looks ahead to playoff action and will enter the AA Islands as the South No. 1 seed. Prior to that, the team faces a Ryan Cup City quarterfinal on April 30 versus Stelly’s.

The Junior Girls, though knocked out of City playoff contention by a tenacious Reynolds side, rebounded with a fine effort at their ISAs, playing four matches to finish as runners up. Wins against Shawnigan Lake School (3-1) and Glenlyon Norfolk School (3-1) and a 1-1 tie versus Brentwood College School, thanks to a Jillian Betts penalty kick, were enough to move SMUS to the final against Crofton House. However, despite the best efforts of Anna Brinham, Marbella Rodriguez-Ramirez, Lauren Withers and goalie Jocelyn Zhao, the mainland visitors prevailed 2-0.

Tennis

SMUS tennis was also in action, with four teams contesting their respective ISA tournaments. The Junior Boys, Junior Girls and Senior Girls each finished strongly to record second place finishes. The Senior Boys fell to a talented St. George’s team in their semi-final but bounced back for third place. Maddox Lechner and Amy Yang showed great perseverance during their matches. City league play concludes May 1 against Claremont, with the Lower Island finals versus Lambrick Park set for May 3.

Track and Field

In track and field, the same faces continue to impress, with both Preet Dhillon and Chika Duru showing improvements in the throwing events. Angelina Shandro again dominated the Senior Girls sprints, while Grade 9 Tion McLeish won gold medals in his 800m and 1500m races. Finally, both Kyle Stenberg and Liam Erlic turned in solid performances in the Junior Boys 300m hurdles.

Vivat!

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