QCC sculler wins gold
Queen Charlotte College ace Mitchell Mackenzie-Mol turned on a brilliant performance to take out the premier under-18 single sculls gold medal at the AON Maadi Cup New Zealand Secondary Schools Rowing Championships at Lake Karapiro on Saturday.
At an event where the other Marlborough college crews were mostly disappointing, the Picton sculler lived up to his reputation as one of the rising stars of New Zealand rowing with an outstanding performance, his second successive single sculls Maadi Cup gold, having won the under-17 title last year.
Speaking after the race, Mackenzie-Mol, a New Zealand junior rep in 2012 and a trialist again this year, said he was thrilled to win and thanked some high-powered support for getting him there.
"Pretty fun," he said. "Probably the least nervous I've ever been for a New Zealand championships race. I just listened to what Keiran [Gaudin], Mark Stallard, Joe [Sullivan] and Dave [Bugler] told me. I just got into it, went out at 250 metres and found myself second or third and feeling really good.
"There was me and another boat, and I knew I had him with 750m to go. I did another push at the 1500m mark, got half a length up and started winding it up. Everything went to plan.
"Joe's been my mentor. The boat I rowed was nine years old and that was the third singles win, Joe won the other two in it."
There was more success for QCC and it was third time lucky for Caitlin Harvey.
She won a bronze medal in the under-17 single sculls as well as winning the B final of the under-18 event.
"I think I was fourth or fifth with 250m to go," she said. "I did a move and got there. It's pretty good. Third Maadi Cup and first medal."
QCC coach Dave Bugler was proud of his young charges and felt Mackenzie-Mol always had his race under control, while Harvey's success was a triumph for persistence and determination.
There was no such success for Marlborough Boys' College and their head coach, Bill Campbell, did not hide his disappointment, especially with the way his senior crews performed, missing out on the A final of both the under-18 coxed four and Maadi Cup eights.
"I'm a bit disappointed," he said. "We didn't go as well as what we would have liked. We won two silvers and got fifth in just about everything else."
The under-15 eight of Leith Gilmore, Isaiah Miller, Greg Hyson, Campbell Stevens, Robson Davies, Angus McFarlane, Cameron Donald, Jordan Gasson and coxswain Alex Hill were just pipped for gold by Hamilton BHS.
A similar fate befell the under-15 quad of Gilmore, Miller, Hyson, Stevens and Hill who let Auckland Grammar get too far ahead before almost reeling them in.
Campbell said the performance of the under-15 crews was definitely the highlight for him and augured well for the future.
Marlborough Girls' College emerged with nothing to show for their efforts, four sixth placings and an eighth placing in A finals the best they came up with, the first time in 10 years they haven't won a medal.
Head coach Dave Williamson admitted the bar had been considerably raised and he and his crews had not been up to the mark.
Williamson singled out his under-15 eight as the best performers with a sixth placing. The crew comprised Annabel Maasdam, Molly Ramsay, Kate Lindstrom, Taylah Kenny, Maia Bicknell, Tegan Williams and coxswain Meg Lamb.
The Dawn Cup under-18 four of Portia Barcello, Nadya Hyson, TJ Power, Jess Donald and coxswain Ella-Rose Hammond also rowed well to finish sixth in the A final.
ROLL OF HONOUR
GOLD Premier under-18 single sculls – Mitchell Mackenzie-Mol
SILVER Under-15 eights – Leith Gilmore, Isaiah Miller, Greg Hyson, Campbell Stevens, Robson Davies, Angus McFarlane, Cameron Donald, Jordan Gasson and coxswain Alex Hill
Under-15 quad – Leith Gilmore, Isaiah Miller, Greg Hyson, Campbell Stevens and coxswain Alex Hill
BRONZE Under-17 single sculls – Caitlin Harvey
The Marlborough Express