Hill­crest climbs high school hockey moun­tain

Ottawa Citizen - - SPORTS - BY MARTIN CLEARY MARTIN CLEARY writes about a curl­ing ex­per­i­ment that missed its tar­get.

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.

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