Johannah Kearney (Oamaru) had a golden glow when she
travelled back to the family farm yesterday.
She won four medals - three gold and a bronze - at the New
Zealand rowing championships at Lake Ruataniwha.
The gold medals were in the women's under-22 eight, the
women's under-20 coxless four and coxless pair. She also won
a bronze medal in the women's premier coxless four.
The Kearneys live on a mixed farm close to Oamaru. Johannah
and twin sister Caitlin started rowing five years ago under
the eye of coach Stewart Mitchell at the Oamaru Rowing Club.
''Johannah was a star in the making from the outset,''
''She had a quiet and determined resolve and applied herself.
Rowers like her don't come along too often.''
Johannah Kearney, who will study at the University of Otago
this year, made her international debut in the coxless four
at the world junior championships in Bulgaria last year. The
stroke of the New Zealand crew was Holly Greenslade (Avon),
whom Kearney beat in the women's under-20 pair on Saturday.
The Southern RPC crew of Kristen Froude and Kearney won the
title in 7min 55.08sec from Holly Greenslade and Alice Darry
(Avon), 7min 58.8sec. Auckland RPC was third in 8min 5.73sec.
The Wanaka Rowing Club was formed in 2007 and made history on
Saturday when it won its first gold medal at a New Zealand
The men's under-19 coxed four of Jamie Bowley, James Redai,
Jarrod Wellman, Nic Jackson and cox Hamish Roulston won the
title in 6min 45.57sec.
''It was six years in the making,'' coach Dave Varney said.
''It was a red-letter day for us.''
Bowley, Redai and Wellman started rowing three years ago and
were in the combined Otago University-Wanaka novice eight
that won a silver medal at the national championships at Lake
Ruataniwha two years ago.
The crew had trained all season without a cox and Roulston
came into the crew only three weeks ago.
It was level pegging in the race after 500m when Wanaka
applied pressure and led by a length at halfway and three
lengths at 1500m.
It was a successful final day with Otago provincial rowers
winning an additional eight medals - four gold and four
Otago rowers won a record 19 medals - 10 gold, seven silver
and two bronze. It was the most gold medals won by Otago
crews at a New Zealand championship. The previous best medal
haul was at Lake Ruataniwha two years ago when Otago rowers
collected 18 medals - seven gold, eight silver and three
There was also a milestone for Lucy Strack (North End), who
won her first red coat in the Southern RPC premier women's
eight. The other Otago rower in the crew was Fiona Bourke
(Otago University), who won her second red coat.
Southern won convincingly in 6min 20.65sec from Central (6min
25.06sec) and Waikato (6min 25.71sec).
Bourke also won a silver medal when finishing behind Olympian
Emma Twigg (Auckland), who won her fifth successive title in
the women's premier single sculls.
Twigg won in 7min 28.42sec from Bourke (7min 33.78sec) and
Waikato's Genevieve Armstrong (7min 39.67sec).
Hamish Bond (North End) won his 16th red coat when he stroked
the Southern RPC crew to a win in the men's premier eight in
5min 40.22sec. It was a tight tussle with the Waikato RPC
crew (5min 41.93sec). Auckland RPC was third in 5min
The following crews won silver medals on Saturday: Emma
Winders and Anna O'Leary (Otago) in the women's under-19
double sculls (8min 02.85sec); Zoe McBride and Hannah Duggan
(Otago) in the women's under-20 double sculls (7min
19.66sec); Jack O'Leary and Eachann Bruce (Otago) in the
men's club double sculls (6min 37.99sec).
Johannah Kearney (Oamaru), Jamie Bowley, James Redai, Jarrod
Wellman, Nic Jackson, Hamish Roulston (Wanaka), Hamish Bond,
Lucy Strack (North End), Fergus Fauvel, Fiona Bourke (Otago
University), Zoe McBride (Otago).