Track Team - Provincials Wrap-Up

Ms. Ayotte has been an amazing coach and mentor for our track athletes for many years now. Not only has she coached, she has also been one of the key organizers at all the North Shore meets. Sadly, Ms. Ayotte is leaving Collingwood to take a new position at Fraser Academy. This is fantastic news for Ms. Ayotte but not for Collingwood track. Not only will her athletes miss her always sunny personality and her first-rate coaching, but it also means that we will be deprived of her terrific meet summaries. We wish Ms. Ayotte the best. Here is Coach Ayotte's last report as the Collingwood track coach:

The Collingwood track and field team went out to McLeod Athletic Park in lovely Langley, BC, for the track and field provincials June 1-3. The weather, despite having been sunny in days prior, was a little cloudy for the first two days and gorgeous for one day. Despite the surprise cloud, the Collingwood athletes prevailed with some great performances and some personal bests in the field and on the track.

Some of the highlights included a top ten finish in the 3000 meter by junior Gabrielle Bourgault-Kennaley, who proved that she is not only an outstanding triathlete but also an amazing runner.

Bella Hallam, in her last track and field performance for high-school, racewalked her way to a 16th place finish in the senior girls category. For those that have not tried racewalk, I urge you to try and/or research it. It's a lot harder than it looks (says the coach/writer of this blog who tried it at a coaching clinic). Trust me!

In the senior girls category for the 3000, Charlotte Campbell had a top 20 finish as did Austin Sutherland in the senior boys category. In the 1500, Austin placed an impressive 6th in the province in a field that was one of the fastest the provincials have seen for many years.

In the field, Caitlin Gordon competed in the shot put, discus and javelin and placed in the top 20 for the shot and discus and 22nd for javelin. Musical Casey Thomas-Burns proved that acting and music are not her only talents as she placed in the top 20 in discus and was 23rd in the shot put. Ms. Ayotte watched the throwing events and can honestly say our girls were about half the size of the girls who placed in the top eight. Small and mighty!

The bantam girls relay team was down two runners but still had an impressive performance in their 4 x 400 relay. Ms. Ayotte would like to thank Justine Brongers, Abbey Maier, Liz Mathisen, Jett Gleason and our sub Clare Reynolds. They came out to Langley and raced later on a Friday night during exam time and were infectious with their positive attitudes. Furthermore, Liz Mathisen had recently returned from California, where she had been competing with the junior field hockey team. She came back with a tan as well as two injuries, and she still ran her race.

The coaches would like to thank all of the athletes for working so hard this season in some very grueling weather and for having such positive attitudes. You were a pleasure to coach!

Coach Ayotte will be sorely missed by her colleagues and her athletes. Here she is with Hailey Szybunka at a 2016 meet.

Collingwood's terrific Grade 8 relay team.

Bella Hallam in the North Shore racewalk final.

Charlotte Campbell at the North Shore Championships.

Austin Sutherland finished 6th in his final 1500m race at the BC Championships.

Caitlin Gordon at the North Shore Championships.

Golf Team Wins BC Silver

The golf team returned this week from Castlegar with the BC AA silver medal. The team overcame a poor opening day and roared back into contention with some terrific play in the second round. In the end, they finished a mere one stroke out of the first. Here is Coach Payne's report:

We started early on Sunday morning. Everyone was in a cheerful mood despite the hour. Although the trip was an 8-hour tour, time "flew" by quickly as stories were told and laughs were had. The team was feeling loose and confident during our practice round. Everyone was striking the ball well. The course conditions were pretty good considering the weather we had this year. Even though we did not have a ton of Provincial tournament experience, everyone had played in major tournaments before.

There was a lot of pressure on this team to bring home Collingwood's first Provincial Golf Championship, considering we finished 3rd two years ago and 2nd last year. These players wanted that feeling of holding that trophy and banner over their head. As we discussed strategy for the course everyone was in agreement on how to play the course. Day 1 did not turn out as we had hope. Everyone had a tough day except for Phoebe who led the team shooting a 75. As heads were down and disappointed with day one results, there was good news that as each team had its struggles with the golf course. We were only 5 strokes back and still in the hunt with three other teams.

The team was pumped and ready to go on Day 2. They felt confident that they could all play better and make up the 5-stroke deficit if they went out aggressively. Phoebe's day didn't start out like she had hoped, before her second shot her nose started to bleed. We cleaned her up and plugged her nose so she could continue to play. She managed to stick her second shot close and finish the first hole with a par.

Collingwood was playing great but so were the other top 3 teams in this tournament. After 9 holes the team had made up the 5 strokes and was pushing hard to take the lead. All final four teams were feeling the heat and grind of the tournament. As Day 2 came to an end, there was all sorts of confusion as to who was in the lead and who needed to score what on the final hole to take the championship or push it into extra holes. When the smoke cleared Phoebe and Sean finished the day shooting 75 and 76. Once the final score card was recorded Collingwood was one stroke away from playing extra holes. Once again, we finished 2nd and won the silver medal.

Although the team was disappointed with the result it has created a hunger and desire to come back next year and walk away with gold. Knowing that they can play better and everyone will be returning next year, they will not accept anything but gold.

Congratulations on a fabulous year! We are the North Shore High School Champions for the third straight year and North Shore AA Champions for the 9th time in the last 10 years. Hold your heads high and be proud of all your accomplishments this year.

Michael Kennedy, Phoebe Yue, Ben Wrixon, Sandee Park and Sean Buckles will all be back next year to try to bring home the gold after narrowly missing out this year.

Golf Team 3rd After First Round At BC's

The golf team is in Castlegar at the BC Championships. Yesterday, the athletes took to the course in very hot conditions. The Cavs are an incredibly talented group of golfers so they would not have been happy with their individual scores yesterday, but they are only five strokes off the lead so they are well within striking distance.

Phoebe Yue led the way with a 75. Sandee Park, Sean Buckles and Michael Kennedy followed with 81, 82 and 83 respectively. Ben Wrixon shot a 90. The team hopes to re-group this morning and if they can post some low scores, then they will be in gold medal contention.

Coach Payne with Sean, Phoebe, Ben, Sandee and Michael.

Cavs Win Rugby Bronze

The senior rugby team bounced back from their devastating semi-final loss on Thursday with an outstanding 29-7 win over McMath to win the bronze medal at the BC AA Rugby Championships yesterday. The Cavs overcame an early 7-0 deficit to the Wildcats as they secured their 9th straight trip to the medal podium with a brilliant mix of forward power and outside speed and handling.

It is always tough to play a bronze medal game when your goal all year is to win the gold. Thus, when McMath dominated the early going of the game, there was some question if the Cavs were mentally ready for the challenge in front of them. When a handling miscue gifted the Wildcats a 7-0 lead, there seemed to be cause for concern. However, Collingwood stormed back almost immediately using their forwards to punch the ball up the gut of the McMath defence before the ball was spun wide and Max McKee dove over to cut the deficit to 7-5.

Four minutes later, Cam Bird made a sniping run off the base of a ruck and the Cavs were up 10-7. With momentum clearly on their side, Collingwood started to assert their dominance. The forwards continued to surge ahead powerfully which once again opened space out wide. This time Cole Young found the end-zone and the Cavs entered halftime up 15-7.

Collingwood got a dream start to the second half when Carter Proc powered his way over. Cam Bird's conversion gave the Cavs a 22-7 lead.

It seemed that this might completely knock the wind out of McMath's sails, but instead they began to re-assert themselves through some powerful running of their own. A string of penalties against Collingwood kept the Wildcats on the front foot, but all of this pressure came to naught when Ethan Lucke intercepted an errant pass and rambled 50 metres for a try. After Cam's conversion, the Cavs were up 24-7 and the bronze medal was now in their hands.

All five of Collingwood's Grade 12 starters had strong games to finish their high school careers. Carter led from the front, which he had done all tournament. Jaxson Vickerstaff had another sensational day tackling everyone who came his way. Max McKee was his usual brilliant self in the line-outs and appeared in multiple attacks on offence. Cam Bird orchestrated his forwards very well and cleverly picked key times to run himself. Finally, Carson Boyd was sharp with his line-out throws and his support play around the field was terrific.

Captain Carter Proc with the BC Tier 1 AA Plate.

Carter Proc hits a gap against Brentwood on his way to a try. Cam Bruk, Duncan Bustos and Cole Young in support.

Nate Holm tackles a Brentwood player.

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