Grafton students bring home medals

State squad: Sarah Jones, Johanna Tarrant and Cameron Kitcher.
State squad: Sarah Jones, Johanna Tarrant and Cameron Kitcher.

GRAFTON High School rowers Sarah Jones, Johanna Tarrant and Cameron Kitcher recently represented NSW with success at the Australian Youth Cup.

Kitcher brought home a silver medal from the Men’s Eight whilst Jones and Tarrant snared a bronze in the Women’s Four.

They were selected in the NSW Under 21 team to take on New Zealand and all other Australian states.

In the overall point score NSW was the leading state, finishing second behind a very polished New Zealand team.

To have three rowers from the one school selected is an historic first for NSW and unlikely to be bettered, especially given that the competition is open to athletes up to 20-years-old.

Jones and Tarrant have represented their state in various squads over the past couple of years and travelled to New Zealand in May with the Australian Elite Development Squad.

For 17-year-old Kitcher this was a new experience and he had plenty of adrenalin flowing when he lined up to represent his state for the first time.

“Once I got the first race out of the way I felt much more relaxed and by the time we raced the Men’s Eight final on Sunday I was pumped – that was the fastest boat I have ever rowed in and I am stoked to have won a silver medal,” Kitcher said.

The Australian Youth Cup competition gives emerging talent a great chance to test their skills against other rowers who also dream of one day representing Australia at a senior level.

Each state team was comprised of eight men and eight women (plus coxswains) with each rower competing in three events.

Jones and Tarrant were very consistent with 4th place in the Coxless Pair, bronze in the Coxless Four and a very close 4th in the Women’s Eight.

Kitcher, selected as a lightweight, won valuable team points with 6th in both the Lightweight Double and Coxless Quad to go with his silver medal in the Men’s Eight.

All three rowers put in plenty of hours on the Clarence to earn selection and eagerly grabbed the competition experience that the Youth Cup presents.

They are especially proud of being the only regional rowers in the NSW team.

“It’s amazing to think that Grafton High has more reps in the NSW team than any other club or school – equal to Sydney Uni where they offer scholarships and run a sponsored elite athlete program,” Tarrant said.

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