As March rolls along, high school athletes across the country in a variety of sports are gearing up for their respective championships. The action has already begun, with provincial wrestling, basketball and swimming championships taking place in B.C., New Brunswick and Ontario, respectively.
BC High School Wrestling Championships
Over the past 32 years, Alberni District Secondary School has asserted itself as one of the premier wrestling high schools in British Columbia, boasting 69 high school champions and 183 medalists. The 2010-2011 team continued that tradition of winning as they took home the BC Secondary Schools Wrestling Championships Aggregate title. The ADSS boys’ and girls’ Armada teams combined for a total of 98 points to finish well ahead of 2nd place finishers Carson Graham of North Vancouver who had 62 points and 3rd place Yale Secondary of Abbotsford who finished with 61 points. This marks the ADSS Armada’s third Aggregate title to go along with five boys and two girls individual team titles.
Rick Hansen of Abbotsford won the Boys Individual Team title as the result of a very strong overall team effort. The fact that Jasmit Phulka was the lone Rick Hansen athlete to win his weight class is a testament to how well all of the boys from Rick Hansen performed. The ADSS Armada boys’ team finished in second place with 58 points while Burnaby Central ended up in third with 54 points.
In the girls’ division, Smithers Secondary celebrated its first ever championship that was earned as a result of excellent performances from all team members. Similar to the Boys Champions, Smithers boasts only one champion, Madison Below in the 75kg category, and gained most of its points from strong showings from a number of its athletes. Smithers girls finished with an impressive 58 points, beating out ADSS, with 40 points, and Yale Secondary with 32 points.
(Photos courtesy British Columbia Wrestling Association)
NEW BRUNSWICK: NBIAA Final 8 Senior Basketball Championships
The New Brunswick Interscholastic Athletic Association (“NBIAA”) held its Final 8 Senior Basketball Championships on February 26, 2011 in Saint John. After 24 years at the Aitken University Centre, the Senior Basketball Championships moved to the impressive facilities at Harbour Station. Home to the Premier Basketball League’s Saint John Mill Rats, Harbour Station impressed fans with its $1 million high-definition video screen, spacious concourse area and underground walkway with access to local malls and hotels.
The AA Senior Girls final kick started the tournament with a bang, as Rothesay Netherwood School of Rothesay defeated Tobique Valley High School of Plaster Rock 99-93 in a heated double overtime game that will be remembered for years to come. In the AA Senior Boys final, Devon Park Christian School of Fredericton took advantage of the Harvey Lakers’ shooting struggles and lead from start to finish, winning the game by a final score of 66-48.
In the AAA Senior Girls final, the Riverview Royals defended their title as league champions and completed a three-peat by defeating the Woodstock Thunder 71-48. Vanessa Picard was named the Royals’ Game MVP and helped the Royals play stifling defence that contributed to the victory. With the win, the Royals finished the season with an impressive record of 36 wins and only 1 loss. The Royals will lose just two graduating players next year, putting them in an excellent position to make it four championships in a row.
The Leo Hayes Lions were the only team to beat the Bathurst Phantoms this year and they did it twice. Unfortunately for the Lions, they couldn’t do it a third time, as the Phantoms got the better of them to win the AAA Senior Boys Championship with a final score of 98-89. The dynamic duo of Brad States and Matt Daley combined for 66 points as the Phantoms came back from a first half deficit. The championship capped off a remarkable season for the Phantoms, as they finished with a record of 39 wins and just 2 losses.
(Photos courtesy NBIAA)
OFSAA Swimming Championships
The OFSAA Swimming Championships were held at Etobicoke Swim Club on March 1 & 2 and showcased the abundance of talented young swimmers in Ontario. Georgetown District HS ran away with the Overall Team Championship with a total of 1,669 points. Riverside SS came in second with 1,057 points and Upper Canada College rounded out the top three teams with 873.5 points.
In a year where an amazing 18 records were broken, there was no shortage of exciting races. The Women’s 200m Freestyle was certainly one of the most compelling races of the tournament, as both Olivia Bello of St. Marcellinus and Annie Harrison of Appleby College broke the existing record during the finals. Harrison’s time of 2:01.19 was impressive, but just not enough to beat Bello’s time of 2:01.15. Remarkably, that wasn’t the only race in which the record was shattered twice, as the Women 15 and Over 100m Breaststroke final featured Stephanie Lam of Ridley and Clara Armstrong of Oakville Trafalgar HS clocking times of 1:15.90 and 1:16.73, respectively, to beat the previous record of 1:17.04.
While the Women 15 and Over 50m Butterfly finals did not produce a new record, it did feature the closest race of the tournament as just 27 one-hundredths of a second separated first to third places. Kristina Stojadinovic of Mayfield SS took the title with a time of 31.11 and was followed by Aileen Hodgson of Bluevale Collegiate Institute in second at 31.19 and Maggie Dumitru of Westmount in third place at 31.38.
On the men’s side, the 15 and Over 100m Freestyle featured an intense battle between Jason Tang of St. Augustine SS and Cameron Elgie of Georgetown District HS. In the preliminary race, Tang’s time of 55.29 was just ahead of Elgie’s 55.50 and set the tone for what would be an even closer race in the finals. In the end, Tang was the champion as he touched the wall just 2 one-hundredths of a second before Elgie with a time of 55.56 in the finals.