Clarence mines gold in Adelaide
THIRTEEN Clarence Valley rowers turned out in Adelaide last week to compete in the Australian Rowing Championships and Interstate Regatta.
The gruelling week of competition means a minimum of three races and in some cases four.
Despite some Valley rowers contesting more than three events, they managed to bring home two gold and four silver medals.
Rachael See, struggling with the weight limits for lightweight rowers, managed a solid second place in the B final of the under-23 women’s single scull but her partner was unable to make weight for her double scull.
Her highlight was a silver medal in the under-23 women’s quad scull.
Perinne Tyler, competing in her first nationals, was competitive in all her races, just missing the semis of the under-19 double scull and single scull.
Cameron Kitcher, balancing training with his HSC, performed well in his single and just missed the semis. He made up for that in his schoolboy single by finishing second fastest in the heats and winning his semi.
Compensation for these close results was made when Kitcher teamed with McKenzie, ex-Lower Clarence rower Riley Elvery and Louis Snelson to win gold in the under-19 men’s quad scull.
This crew blitzed the opposition in the recent NSW State Championships and breezed through their heat and semi to be firm favourites for the final. They won by four seconds.
Elvery added to his gold in the quad by teaming with Snelson in the under-19 men’s double scull.
Although leading his semi at the 1500, Elvery failed to recover from some sloppy blade work in the testing conditions and finished third and out of the final.
He made amends by winning the B final by eight seconds and was still pleased with his two gold.
Another Lower Clarence rower, Leah Saunders, teamed with Lismore’s Sophie Dansie to win silver in the under-19 women’s double scull and with West Australian rowers to also win silver in the quad scull.
Lower Clarence’s Penny Elvery and Rachael Anderson teamed with Grafton’s Sarah Kitcher, Tasmanian Courtney Barber and lightweight Newcastle cox Camille Moore to breeze into the final of the under-17 women’s quad scull.
Rowing for the first time together in the regatta they improved with every race to finish with a silver medal.
Elvery and Anderson combined well in the double and had a comfortable run to the finals where their usually smooth combination failed them and they had to be content with fourth.
Anderson, the Lower River’s big improver this season with individual gold at state level, had a poor semi in her single but gained some consolation by finishing the B final with daylight between her and second.
Elvery also scraped into the B final of the single and managed a hard-fought fifth place.
Lower’s Sam Headon and Matthew Begg both put in strong performances in their under-17 men’s single scull with both rowers making it to the semis.
Their months of practice in their double paid off when they earned a good position in the final. A strong performance in a tough race left them in fourth place, tantalisingly close to the medals.
Sarah Jones and Joanna Tarrant made the semis in their under-23 coxless pair and were fourth in the final of the coxless four.
Their reputation and performances got them into the NSW youth eight which rowed into fourth place and they topped it all off with a silver medal in the under-23 women’s eight.
Saunders and Elvery were selected in the Australian Institute of Sport’s elite training squad. Both will be under serious consideration for the Australian team to contest the Junior World Championships in the UK this year.