Pre-IASAS serves as a checkpoint to the most important tournament for an ISM athlete, IASAS. Teams have the opportunity to gauge themselves against some of the other IASAS schools. This year’s Pre-IASAS was held in Kuala Lumpur for volleyball, Taipei for cross-country, and Manila for soccer.
Michael Bell, a senior volleyball player, expresses that, “the experience is quite fulfilling, but extremely tiring”. It may seem Pre-IASAS is not worth the effort with demanding time and energy, coupled with a potential backlog of missed work. However, Nara Lee, a sophomore and returning varsity cross-country athlete, is quick to dispute this saying, “I think Pre-I is definitely worth it because you get to interact with different people from different schools and go to different places with them”. Daniel Young, another volleyball athlete from the class of 2015, also adds, “students should really consider Pre-I because it’s a great excuse to leave school for few days and play the sport that you love.” Not only is it immense fun, but it also helps the team “discover their strengths and weaknesses”, says senior Isabel del Val.
Soccer athletes prevailed as champions in what was a thrilling tournament. Senior Hyung Jun reflected on his last Pre-I game, when teammate Johnny McArtor scored a stunning equalizer at a vital moment. Hyung Jun adds, “that equalizer felt like an energy drink”, reinvigorating all the athletes’ mentalities. Volleyball Pre-IASAS male athletes also returned on a high note, as they were runner-ups of the competition. They were arguably unlucky though, as our Bearcat athletes lost by a mere two-point margin to Kuala Lumpur’s Panthers in their last game. Despite this Daniel Young states, “it made us more motivated to work harder and come back stronger for IASAS”. Bearcat runners dominated in Taipei as well, especially with Red Giuliano finishing the race in first place with Harry Tinney right behind him. As exciting as Pre-IASAS itself was, the chance to enjoy the Taiwanese culture was amazing. Nara Lee says her first Pre-IASAS was characterized by the “best noodles and dumplings”, as well as being able to go to the Taipei Night Market and Hot Springs.
Unlike the soccer players who stayed in Manila, volleyball and cross-country athletes experienced a serious case of the “post-Pre-IASAS blues”. With the opportunity to bond with their team, make new friends, and experience things that break away from the daily routine, who can blame them. Hopefully the upcoming IASAS tournament will be just as good, if not better.
Written By: Isabel Wilson, 12
Pictures By: Jenny Hwang, 12