Otago crews secure spots in finals

The first Otago crews have booked their spots in medal races at the annual Maadi Cup regatta on Lake Ruataniwha.

Columba College's girls under-18 novice coxed eight was the first to qualify for an A final, when it finished second in its heat yesterday morning.

The crew of Milly Nesbit, Abby Anderson, Amber Cunningham, Olivia McRae, Abby Griffin, Ellen Foley, Nakita Horne, Millie Wright and coxswain Margot Darling comfortably picked up the top-two finish it needed to advance to Friday's final.

They clocked 7min 27.95sec to cross the line second behind Rangi Ruru Girls' School's crew, which finished first in 7min 19.45sec.

Dunstan High School's girls under-16 coxed eight also secured a finals berth, when it finished second in its heat yesterday.

Annalise Cook, Emily Downey, Kaea Anderson, Jas McIntosh, Emma Borland, Genna Smith, Molly Ellis, Lucy Harrison and coxswain Jake Galletly had a cracking battle with first-placed Epsom Girls' Grammar, but could not quite beat the North Islanders to the line.

Dunstan's crew crossed the line in 7min 15.98sec, just 1.56sec off the pace, but will get another shot at Epsom in the final.

Otago Boys' High School's under-17 coxed eight will also race for a medal later in the week.

The crew of Todd Bezett, William Sinclair, Oliver Higgins, Jayden Henderson, Anton Schroder, Tobias Gruber, Jack Holland-Spinks, Luke Hurdle and coxswain Tate Drummond needed a top-six finish in its repechage, which it barely managed.

King's High School's boys under-18 lightweight coxed four of Mitchell Anderson, Kyle Hughes, Mitchell Booth, Campbell Booth and coxswain Harrison Booth also booked a finals spot after finishing second in their repechage.

Columba's Kate Campbell and Clora Quinlan-Thompson produced a superb race to win their girls under-18 coxless pair repechage.

Needing to win the race to make the final, the pair went 13sec faster than they did in their heat to win in 7min 57.93sec.

More than 2200 athletes from 120 schools across the country are entered in the regatta, the largest secondary schools regatta in the southern hemisphere.

Repechages, quarterfinals and semifinals will continue today and tomorrow, before the medals are decided on Friday and Saturday.

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