Waikato rowers haul in medals
Waikato's rowing powerhouses staked claims for national titles with impressive showings at last weekend's North Island secondary schools regatta.
Hamilton Boys' High School and Waikato Diocesan School for Girls won their respective under-18 eights finals as part of their preparation for the blue riband events at the upcoming Maadi Cup.
St Peter's School again excelled in a number of sculling classes, while a host of the region's schools also produced fine results in the three-day regatta at Lake Karapiro.
The North Island championship is the last major regatta for crews before the 2014 national secondary schools champs at Lake Ruataniwha from March 24-30.
Hamilton BHS hauled in nine gold, five silver and two bronze medals at the North Island event, including victory in the u-18 eight, finishing almost nine seconds ahead of Westlake Boys High School, who pipped Auckland Grammar for silver.
The crew of Theo Krielen, Caleb Loomans, Drikus Conradie, Matt Munro, Sam Macky, James Parton, Tom Bell, Finn Maunsell and coxswain Hayden Shaw will be out to defend the Maadi Cup title the school won last year in a dramatic finish over Napier BHS, who didn't contest last weekend's regatta.
Waikato Dio were second in the girls' u-18 eights final last year behind St Margaret's College from Christchurch. This year, the crew of Anahera Nin, Georgia Barker, Annaliese O'Leary, Anna Porritt, Madison Dunn, Kate Martin, Laura Kelly, Angela Clarke and coxswain Victoria Wilson set themselves up for another crack at the South Island regatta victors by finishing more than eight seconds ahead of Westlake Girls High School, with Hamilton's Sacred Heart Girls College (Tayla Sklenars, Lacey Pearce, Tayla Sanson, Claudia Mecchia, Hannah Moran, Hayley McCarthy, Kimberley Bennett, Kristyn Numa and cox Leshay Lazarus) winning bronze.
Waikato Dio finished with four gold, four silver and one bronze, while St Peter's captured gold in the girls' u-18 novice eights, girls' u-18 lightweight double sculls and girls' u-18 quad (Madeleine Minnett, Jessica Brougham, Carly Baars, Samantha Voss and cox Lauren Gibb) while adding four silver and six bronze.
Four other Waikato schools collected gold at Lake Karapiro, with rising sculler Georgia Allen a convincing winner in the girls' u18 single scull final.
The Hillcrest HS crew Madison Wright, Paige Hallam, Sascha Arai-Swale, Eva Rossiter and cox Shania Brooks won gold in the u-16 quad, with the school also picking up silver in the girls' u-16 four.
St Paul's Collegiate won gold in the boys' u-17 eight through Henry Wills, Jack Schicker, Ben Dobbe, Lachlan Lee, Tim Husband-Dravitzki, Charles Christey, Connor Gordon, Sal M'Boge and cox Logan Birt, while also adding two silver and a bronze.
Sacred Heart won the girls' u-17 eights final through Tayla Sklenars, Lacey Pearce, Ellie Neben, Claudia Mecchia, Finau Mosa'Ati Fosita, Ella Pearson, Hannah Moran, Talia te Anga and cox Leshay Lazarus to go with their u-18 eight bronze and two other medals.
Hauraki Plains College scored two silver medals through their girls' crews, Cambridge HS gained two bronze medals in girls' u-17 events while St John's College claimed bronze in the boys' u-18 novice eight.