Athletics Week in Review: October 5, 2021

It has been a busy week for athletes at SMUS, as they get back into the swing of interschool competition. 

Cross Country

In the second race of the season, Tion McLeish, as expected, dominated the Senior Boys competition, leading from start to finish over the 5-km Beaver Lake course. Bryson Henry, Calum Webber-Smith and newcomer Oscar Lau also ran well.

In Middle School cross country, athletes are looking forward to their first two events this week at Juan de Fuca and Elk Lake.

Field Hockey

The Senior Girls Field Hockey team enjoyed a successful week with comfortable league victories over Glenlyon Norfolk School (2-0) and Lambrick Park (4-0). Excellent ball control and sharp passing featured in both games. Fay Hoefer and Eva Cuddihy paced the attack, with Allegra Nelson and Rebecca Stone anchoring a rock-solid defence in front of goalie Talia Pike.

Very tough competition looms immediately on the horizon, with contests versus Mount Douglas and Oak Bay, as well as a visit by Little Flower Academy from Vancouver. 

Rugby

The Grade 9 Rugby team, missing a number of key players, found it tough going in an ISA sevens event. Peter Wang, Kingston Hollis, Wil Woods and Ewan Webber-Smith, in trying circumstances, battled hard all afternoon. The team now has a solid practice window in advance of its next game against Shawnigan Lake School on October 14. (Scroll to the bottom of this post to see more Grade 9 rugby photos.)

In Middle School rugby, two touch teams were in action. Remy A., Seb E., Bek F. and Mia W. led the development side against Spencer and Dunsmuir. At the competitive level, SMUS travelled to Shawnigan Lake School for a series of very competitive games versus the hosts and Queen Margaret’s School. Ellie L., Dani P., Luka P. and Kevin Yin all showed well.

Rowing

The rowing crews continued their preparation for the upcoming fall competitions, with both dryland and on-the-water sessions. 

Soccer

A slow start by the Senior Boys Soccer squad versus Pacific Christian School proved its undoing in a 3-2 league loss. Down three goals, a frantic late-game comeback almost produced a draw, after Cole Pontefract and Campbell Wilson registered goals. In the last minute, Wilson almost netted his brace, only to see his shot glance off the crossbar. Next up is an October 5 away match against Claremont Secondary. 

Squash

The squash team competed in its first tournament of the season. Seventeen athletes took part in the BC Junior Open in Vancouver this past weekend. Alden Weymar and Maxx Yuen got proceedings off to a fine start by upsetting seeded players. From there, three players reached division finals, with Alex Brown (U19 Girls), Katie Herring (U17 Girls) and Christian Yuen (U19 Boys) all claiming silver medals after close, highly competitive matches. 

Volleyball

The Senior Boys Volleyball team, fresh off a bronze-medal finish at the Camosun Tournament, continued their fine play in league action, taking three of four sets versus Mount Douglas Secondary and Vic High. Geoff Lei and Hugo Accad both played a major role with some excellent serving in the closely contested matches.

Best of all, the team moved up to No. 5 in the most recent BC AA rankings, the highest-ever placing for SMUS.

Meanwhile, the Senior Girls opened league play in Pool A with two tough matchups, versus Pacific Christian School and Claremont Secondary. While serve receive difficulties presented some problems, the team, led by Sophie Olcen and Makena Anderson, again showed enough to suggest it will be a factor at both Island and BC levels later this term.

At the Junior Girls level, SMUS played its first league matches, winning five of six sets against Lambrick Park, Spectrum and Vic High. With Grade 10 students away on outtrips, the Grade 9s took up the slack. Setter Avery Geddes, Charlie Anderson and Chioma Duru performed strongly. 

Finally, after various interruptions, the Junior Boys get set to begin their season this week.

Alumni Athlete Updates

We’re also happy to report a number of alumni successes from the last few months, as it has been a significant year for alumni athletes.

Basketball player and coach Steve Nash ’92 is celebrating a new achievement. Already a member of the Canada Sports Hall of Fame, the 1992 SMUS grad was further honoured this past weekend with an Order of Sport Award, the country’s highest sporting accolade through Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame. The award celebrates those Canadian champions who help build the country through the transformative power of sport.

In rugby, it has very much been a family affair in the Ngawati household.

First, Quinn Ngawati ’17, after a brief dalliance with the league code, has returned to rugby union. On the heels of a season playing professionally for New York United, he joined the full senior national team for a June tour of Wales and England. Playing in the centre, he won caps in both games. Currently, he remains with the squad through the World Cup qualifying stages.

Not to be outdone, Kiri Ngawati ’19 took part in World Rugby 7s tournaments during two recent weekends in Vancouver and Edmonton. She played particularly well in handsome victories over Mexico.

In rowing, Firinne Rolfe ’21 travelled to Bulgaria in August for the World Junior Rowing Championships. Her 4 competed very well, just missing out on the A final, but then winning the B race en route to a 7th place overall finish. 

With racquet sports, Gavin Maxwell ’14 switched smoothly from badminton and squash to pickleball. In the Senior Men’s division of the Pickleball Canada National Championship in Red Deer in August, he dispatched all other competitors to claim both the gold medal and national title. For good measure, he then teamed with squash ace Grace Thomas ’16 in the mixed doubles. The pair did extremely well to also reach the final before placing second.

In field hockey, the Canadian Women’s Junior team, led by Anna Mollenhauer ’17, overcame many hurdles and restrictions to win the Junior Pan American qualifying tournament in Santiago, Chile in late August. Thanks to a stingy defence, Canada went undefeated during the event, with Mollenhauer registering the only goal in a 1-0 victory versus Uruguay in the final. Canada now advances to the 2021 Junior World Cup, set for December in South Africa.

Congratulations to all of our athletes!

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