Wakatipu High rowers collect national medals

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Wakatipu High rowers will be returning from the New Zealand Secondary School Rowing Champs tomorrow with their heads held high.

The 12-strong squad finished 18th equal out of 122 schools at the coveted Maadi Cup, making it onto the podium four times during the week-long regatta near Hamilton last week.

Dynamic novice double duo Kate Gilbert and Olivia Robins raced to silver in their final, with Alex Hall and Mike Foley following suit in the under 15 boys’ double race.

Under 15 boys’ quad combo of Mike Foley, Alex Hall, Marco Dyson, Matt Nicholson and cox Josh Speight collected a bronze, as did under 18 lightweight girls’ double sculls pair Kate Gilbert and Jordan Howell.

The boys under 15 four – Mike Foley, Alex Hall, Marco Dyson, Matt Nicholson , Josh Speight and cox Gabby Buchanan – also stormed home to an open water victory with four seconds to spare in their B final.

The medal haul made it the school’s most successful Maadi Cup.

It was also the first time the school attended the champs in the North Island, which cost about $20,000.

About 70 local organisations stumped up the funds to get the kids, a couple of parents and coaches Annabel Ritchie and Shane Muir – both former Maadi Cup winners themselves – to the competition.