By PHILIP CHANDLER
Wakatipu High’s never been known as a pre-eminent rowing school, but that all changed on the waters of Twizel’s Lake Ruataniwha last week.
At the prestigious Maadi Cup national secondary schools regatta, its squad scooped four golds and four bronzes to finish second-equal champion school.
The golds came in the boys’ under-17 single sculls (Marley King-Smith), boys’ U16 coxed quad sculls (Marley, Toby Rorrison, Ashton White, Xavier Small and cox Emily Howick), boys’ U18 novice double sculls (Xavier and Keegan Green) and girls’ U17 coxed quad sculls (Keely Erskine, Neve Bates, Olivia Key, Phoebe Cavanagh and cox Emily).
Bronzes went to the boys’ U17 double sculls (Sam McAtamney and Marley King-Smith), boys’ U16 double sculls (Xavier Small and Ashton White), girls’ U18 coxed quad sculls (Keely Erskine, Olivia Key, Neve Bates, Phoebe Cavanagh and cox Emily Howick) and girls’ U17 double sculls (Neve and Olivia).
Wakatipu High won the Presidents Cup for ‘champion sculls rowing school’ and head coach John Morrison was named ‘coach of the year’.
Olivia Key, Neve Bates, Marley King-Smith, Sam McAtamney and cox Emily Howick were selected to trial for the U18 South Island squad.
Wakatipu High principal Steve Hall says the school’s ‘‘incredibly proud’’.
‘‘To win four gold and four bronze medals is outstanding, and to win the Presidents Cup
for sculling and come second (equal) in the Star Trophy for overall points is remarkable.
‘‘Rowers train hard, and we acknowledge the amazing commitment of the students as well as everyone who has supported them.’’