June Sports Update: Iron Women Strike Gold!

Shawnigan has had lots of athletic success to celebrate in the last two weeks, including three medals at the BC School Sports provincial rugby championships in Abbotsford that wrapped up on June 3, and strong results at the national rowing regatta and provincial golf championships.
Seeded first going into provincials, Shawnigan’s senior girls’ rugby team — known as the “Iron Women” — dominated the 2A girls’ tournament. Shawnigan opened with an 84-0 win over North Delta last Wednesday, then blanked Abbotsford 77-0 in the semifinals on Thursday. Finally, they defeated D.W. Poppy 22-5 in the gold-medal match on Saturday.
“The Iron Women really came together to finish the season on a high,” senior girls’ head coach Ms. Shannon Atkins said. “They executed perfect rugby the whole tournament and that was because of the extreme effort that all 38 players put into improvement. We are so pleased with the passion and dedication that each player exhibited.”

Ms. Atkins also lauded the play of Shawnigan’s captains, Sofia A. and Ava F. Sofia has committed to play at the University of Guelph next year, and Ava has committed to Harvard University.
“They were terrific leaders, and helped the team really reach their potential,” she said.
Shawnigan’s senior boys were also seeded first going into the 3A boys’ provincials. They beat Mount Boucherie 57-3 in the first round on Wednesday, then downed Oak Bay 38-10 in the semifinals on Thursday before ultimately falling to St. George’s 20-14 in the final on Saturday evening.
“The final game was a tight, hard-fought battle,” senior boys’ head coach Jeff Williams said. “Saints took the lead with about five minutes to go, and we were unable to pull it out in the end. Overall, it was a great season, with good player leadership. The coaches are extremely proud of how far this group has come.”
Shawnigan’s junior boys’ team — the Colts — placed third in their provincial tournament, matching their pre-tournament seeding. Shawnigan defeated South Delta 41-0 in the first round, then lost to St. George’s, the eventual champions, in a 24-22 semifinal nailbiter. They regrouped for the final, beating Oak Bay 26-8. The Colts dedicated their last game to longtime coach Mr. Wes Plater, who is moving on from the School at the end of the year.
Also last weekend, Shawnigan brought home a pair of gold medals in junior competition at the Canadian Secondary Schools Rowing Association regatta in St. Catharines, Ont. JD P. won gold in the junior boys’ 1x, and teamed with Dylan A. to take first place in the junior boys’ 2x. The School took silver in the junior girls’ 4x+ (Estella R., Sam P., Kathryn Y., Cocoe N., and Dinah O.) and senior girls’ 4+ (Grace S., Ally T., Abby M., Eva M., and Maya M.), and bronze in the senior boys’ 4x (Kieran F., Iain G., Arden A., and Christian L.). Shawnigan crews also placed fourth in the senior girls’ 8+ and senior boys’ 2x, and fifth in the junior girls’ 8+.
“The race conditions were very windy, meaning first that our crews had to deal with a very stiff headwind, which they did — very well,” rowing coach Julie Platt commented. “It also meant that the finals were cancelled, so their results were based on their performances in the heats and semifinals, where they rowed so well relative to other crews in the headwind. At times it's nice to have a lake that can give us some big waves now and then.”
This week, Shawnigan hosted the 2023 2A provincial golf championship, an honour we earned as winners of the 2022 tournament. Tied for first after the opening day of competition at Arbutus Ridge Golf Club, Shawnigan ended up taking second place in the province behind Kwalikum Secondary, which has a highly regarded golf academy.
“Our golfers gave as good as they took,” Shawnigan head coach Mr. David Hyde-Lay commented. “And they all contributed to the final score.”
Grade 12s Adam H. and Jonatan R. set the tone for Shawnigan. Adam — who will attend Rocky Mountain College in Billings, Montana next season on a golf scholarship — finished one under par, second overall in a field of 70. They were joined by Grade 11 Oscar L. and a cohort of Grade 9s who will be back to help Shawnigan contend in 2024.
“All things being what they are, we’ll be competitive next year,” Mr. Hyde-Lay said.
Thanks to Arbutus Ridge for helping us host the event, and to assistant coach Dr. Ed Taylor for doing the behind-the-scenes work that nobody sees.
Field hockey
Grade 12 student Ashley M. is playing for Hong Kong at the 2023 Women’s Hockey Junior Asia Cup in Kakamigahara, Japan. Ashley previously helped Hong Kong qualify for the tournament with a fifth-place finish at the 2022 Women’s Junior AHF Cup in Kazakhstan last October.
Track and field
For the first time in many years, Shawnigan entered athletes in two track and field meets: the Cowichan Valley and Vancouver Island championships. Track and field is not currently a sport option, but coach Mr. Mark Swannell still managed to recruit 27 students — many from the cross country running program. The School had much success at both meets, with some students experiencing competition in their chosen event for the first time.

Ben W. earned gold in the senior boys shot put, Thabisa M. took bronze in the junior girls’ discus and shot put, DJ B. and Bruneau F. finished second and fourth, respectively, in the junior boys’ shot put, and Josh P. finished a close second in the senior boys’ 400m.

“It is hoped that the success of these athletes will provide the inspiration for track and field to be a competitive sport in the near future,” Mr. Swannell said.

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