Craighead feature on Maadi Cup finals day

Last updated 05:00 29/03/2014

GOLD MEDALISTS: Craighead rowers Jess Martin, Olivia Hughes, Maddi Palmer, Sarah Templeton and Keren Wright.

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Craighead's next generation of rowers stole the spotlight on the opening finals day of the Maadi Cup rowing regatta on Lake Ruataniwha yesterday.

It was the under-15 girls' quadruple sculls crew that picked up the only medal for Timaru secondary schools.

The crew of Jessica Martin, Olivia Hughes, Maddi Palmer, Sarah Templeton and cox Keren Wright made their move just after the 500m mark and by the halfway point of the 2000m race, they had clear water and a winning advantage.

Despite Craighead being the second-fastest qualifiers for the final, no late challenge to their dominance materialised as they kept their composure to win the Earthquake Cup in a time of 7.38.99.

They were more than seven seconds clear of second-placed Glendowie College.

Wright said earning the lead at the point they did was crucial.

''It's always (our aim) to get with the field and then start pushing away from the field as soon as possible.

''We were expecting a late challenge because we knew the competition we were facing and we knew we had to put everything into it.''

The Craighead coaching staff praised the crew's ability to handle the pressure of the new environment and the way they kept improving as a combination throughout the season.

Halfway through the girls' under-18 coxless pair it looked like Renee Olley and Alice Murdoch were going to add to the medal tally.

The duo led until just past the 1000m mark but had nothing left in reserve for the final 500m and were brought back to the field to eventually finish seventh.

Earlier, the Timaru Boys' High School under-15 double of Brad Cvitanich and Finlay Joyce were eighth in their final, convincingly won by Whakatane High School.

The Roncalli College girls' under-17 coxed quad of Libby Davenport, Kate Shaw, Laura Cockroft, Abby McIlroy and cox Olivia Cockroft managed sixth in their final, the same position as the Timaru Boys'  under-18 novice double of Taylor Worthington-Thin and Cameron Hayes in their A final.

The Craighead under-18 coxed four of Emma Harrison, Sarah Dyke, Renee Olley, Alice Murdoch and cox Robyn Wright found the going too tough in their final to finish seventh.

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- The Timaru Herald

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