Hillcrest climbs high school hockey mountain
The Hillcrest Hawks cleared a major hurdle Wednesday by winning the National Capital Secondary School Athletic Association boys’ AAA/AAAA hockey championship.
For the past four seasons, the Hawks have been serious contendors for the city title, but it wasn’t until this season that they reached the top, sweeping the St. Joseph Jaguars in the best-of-three final to qualify for the Ontario Federation of School Athletic Associations’ championship March 22-25 in Toronto.
Hillcrest wrapped up the title Wednesday, overpowering the Jaguars 6-1 after winning 5-1 in Tuesday’s opening game.
For the second contest ni a row, Geoff Clarke scored two goals to lead the Hawks. Evan Mancini-Walford replied for St. Joseph.
The Hawks finished the regular season and playoffs with a 12-1-0 combined record.
In the previous three seasons, Hillcrest was 24-4-2 overall in the regular season, but the Hawks lost in the semifinals in 2010 and 2008 and the quarterfinals in 2009.
Meanwhile, Ottawa-area high school athletes made 10 attempts to win medals in the two-day Ontario Federation of School Athletic Association short-course swimming championships, which ended Wednesday at Toronto, but finished a few strokes short each time.
The 24-member National Capital Secondary School Athletic Association team competed in 25 races, including three relays, and qualified for 10 A (medal) finals and nine B finals.
Merivale’s Rubin Kataki posted the team’s best result with a fifth-place finish in the boys’ junior 50-metre backstroke. He also was eighth in the 50-metre breaststroke.
Jimmy O’Rourke of South Carleton and Rachel O’Connor of Nepean also qualified for two A finals.
O’Rourke was sixth in the boys’ senior 100-metre freestyle and seventh in the 100-metre individual medley.
O’Connor placed seventh in the girls’ senior 100-metre freestyle and eighth in the 50-metre butterfly.
Kenton Anzai of Notre Dame was sixth in the open 200-metre individual medley. The open class is for competitive club swimmers, while the junior and senior swimmers are not club members.
The Colonel By team of Hannah Logan, Sarah Polhl, Ainsleigh Hennig and Emma Cooke was sixth in the senior girls’ 4x50-metre medley relay.
Nathan Lam, Kashtin Patterson, Cody Lombardo and Brian Chen of Colonel By were eighth in the senior boys’ 4x50-metre freestyle relay.
John McCrae’s Samantha Buffam was eighth in the girls’ junior 50-metre backstroke.