Otago schools hoping for big medal haul on first day of finals

Otago schools will have plenty of medal opportunities as finals begin at Lake Karapiro today.

The province had another strong day at the Maadi Cup yesterday, as many of its crews joined those who already qualified for finals.

Dunstan High School delivered a typically strong day and will likely feature well in the medal races.

Its under-17 and under-18 girls double sculls crews both had convincing wins in their semifinals. Mackenzie Bryant and Sophie Smith (Alexandra) cleaned up in the under-17 grade, while Mackenzie Ealson and Paige Furrie were equally dominant in the age-group up.

Sophie Smith (Dunedin), who moved to Dunstan this year, also claimed a handy win in her single sculls under-18 semifinal.

Meanwhile, its under-15 girls sculling crews also reached finals, as did its girls novice under-17 double sculls and under-18 quadruple sculls crew.

Mount Aspiring College was similarly strong in the older girls grades.

Pipi Horan and Emily Findlay matched Dunstan’s effort in claiming a semifinal win in the girls under-17 double sculls.

They also joined Bella Sarginson, Neve Faed and cox Thomas Mitchell to reach the final in the quadruple sculls.

In the under-18 grade, Emma Stead and Findlay finished second to make the girls double sculls final.

Otago Boys’ High School’s Henry Kirk finished second in his under-17 single sculls semifinal, before combining with Grayson Small to also finish second in the double sculls semifinal.

Reuben Cook also combined with Will Haley in the under-18 double sculls to finish second in their semifinal.

John McGlashan College’s Jack Pearson matched Kirk in finishing second in another semifinal of the same event, while the school’s under-15 coxed quadruple sculls crew also advanced.

Wakatipu High School also had a strong day.

Neve Bates and Olivia Key made the final of the girls under-16 double sculls, while Sam McAtamney and Marley King-Smith made the final of the boys grade.

Meanwhile, its boys under-15 and girls under-16 coxed quadruple sculls crews both also qualified, as did its girls under-18 novice double sculls.

Cromwell College’s Matthew King won his under-18 single sculls semifinal, then teamed with Flynn Wilson to win his double sculls semifinal.

Columba College’s Bridgette Sutton and Jendi Minty made the girls under-15 double sculls finals, while Sutton was also part of the under-16 coxed quadruple sculls crew to also make the final.

Otago Girls’ High School’s Abbey Mason finished third to qualify for the girls under-16 single sculls final, while Harriet Thompson and Islay Merriman made the double sculls final.

St Hilda’s Collegiate duo Christy Foster and Kate Beaton made the girls under-16 double sculls final.

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