College Sport Media is dedicated to telling the story of successful young sportspeople in New Zealand
St Peter’s School rowers returned to the classroom on Monday following a successful Maadi Cup NZSS Rowing Championships regatta, held at nearby Lake Karapiro last week.
The 59-strong St Peter’s team made 18 A finals, 10 B Finals and one C Final – winning three gold, three silver and four bronze medals and coming third overall and winning the Presidents Trophy for the top sculling school in New Zealand.
St Peter’s was the only school to have both a Girl's Eight and Boy's Eight in the U18 finals at the end of the regatta, the Girls winning bronze and the Boys making the A final for the first time.
St Peter’s won the Presidents Scull for overall top sculling school for the ninth time in the past 10 years. There were 129 schools at the regatta and 52 of them won medals.
This was led by Jason Nel, who dominated the field in the U18 Boy's Single to win his second single sculling title after winning the U16 Boys Single in 2017.
He then partnered up with Patrick Griffin to win silver in the U18 Boy's Double.
Beckie Leigh led the way for the girls, winning four medals from her four races to top off a very successful school rowing career. She won gold in the U18 Double with Terri Wyatt, who is only in her second year of rowing. Then she picked up bronze in the U18 Girls Single, Quad, and Eight.
The U16 Girls Quad won their third gold medal. Leading from start to finish Holly Williams, Atlanta Bruce, Emma Stead, Maddie Brown and coxswain Teagan Carvell picked up their second medal of the regatta, after also winning silver in the U16 Eight on Friday.
Q and A with Jason Nel
What were your expectations for the week?
This Maadi Cup was my fifth and final one so I didn't want to have any regrets at the end of the week. The only thing I expected from myself and crew was that we gave it our all in every race. My aim was to make the A final in all four of my boats and then race it for the medals. This was achieved and highlighted by the St Peter's u18 eight making the A final for the first time in school history.
How were you feeling in the lead up to the U18 Single Sculls final?
I would be lying if I didn't say very nervous. The final was filled with many great scullers and I knew it was going to be a painful race no matter what. It was also the first time I was racing Ben Mason this season, the South Island Champion, so I was unsure of what his pace would be. However, my coach Megan Glenn and St Peter’s rowing director Janey Wackrow reassured me that I had done the work during the season and instead to just enjoy the race and have fun. This made me relax a little bit and just focus on my own race. During the season I've also been lucky enough to warm up with Beckie Leigh who races the U18 girls single for St Peter’s and who achieved a bronze in the singles race at Maadi. She's always in a friendly and buzzing mood, which definitely lightens the room.
How did the final race pan out?
With strong opposition, I knew that I had to get out fast from the start so I could control the race. I managed to do this but, Ben was still sitting on the stern of my boat. This gave me the motivation to push away further. I maintained the lead and knew it was essential as Eric Gruythusen from Hauraki Plains and Tom Hall from Kings College had a sprint that they were well known for. The pair didn't disappoint, coming through flying in the last 250 metres, taking out silver and bronze. Looking back I'm happy with how I executed my race.
How did you feel after you realised you had won?
One word, satisfaction. This is because all the hard work had just paid off in a few moments. This wasn't just the long hours that I had put it in. The reason behind my achievement was the support and commitment from my family, coaches, school and friends. Without them, I wouldn't be the person I am today and the feeling of them being proud was greater than the victory itself.
St Peter’s School Maadi Cup results 2019 at a glance:
Christchurch Boys HS 42
Hamilton Boys HS 37
St Peter’s School 28
St Peter’s School 24
Christchurch Boys HS 21
Dunstan HS 21
U18 Boys 1X Jason Nel
U18 Girls 2X Beckie Leigh, Terri Wyatt
U16 Girls 4X+ Holly Williams, Atlanta Bruce, Maddie Brown, Emma Stead – Teagan Carvell (coxswain)
U18 Boys 2X Jason Nel, Patrick Griffin
U16 Girls 8+ Millie Baker, Holly Williams, Atlanta Bruce, Emma Stead, Shivon Hanham, Emma Butcher, Maddie Brown, Caitlin Huxtable – Teagan Carvell (coxswain)
U15 Girls 8X+ Millie Baker, Natasha Dickie, Charlotte Pamment, Alyssa Sherry-Middlemiss, Lily Cawood, Jorja Metcalfe, Marie Oaks, Aimee Clink – Amelia McCarroll (coxswain)
U18 Girls 1X Beckie Leigh
U18 Girls 4X+ Beckie Leigh, Margaret Wise, Clare Milne, Amelia Barrell – Brooke Houston (coxswain)
U18 Girls 8+ Amelia Barrell, Holly Williams, Beckie Leigh, Clare Milne, Atlanta Bruce, Terri Wyatt, Ella Thomson, Madi Fuller – Teagan Carvell (coxswain)
U15 Boys 4X+ Connor Davison, Jack Scragg, Toby Robinson, George Muir – Esme MacGillivray (coxswain)