Rowing: McBride, Parnell, Kavanagh standouts for Otago

Zoe McBride
Zoe McBride
Zoe McBride, her coach, John Parnell, and Kavanagh College were the standout Otago performers at the Maadi Cup at the weekend.

McBride (17) won four gold medals and was the elite sculler at the week-long championships on Lake Karapiro.

She has now won a remarkable 10 gold medals at Maadi Cup regattas in the past three years - three in 2011, three in 2012 and four this year.

Parnell has been her inspiration and is the toast of the Kavanagh College squad.

His scullers have won 12 gold medals in the past three years - three in 2011, four last year and five last week - and reached the podium 27 times.

''The results have blown me away,'' Parnell said from Cambridge.

''It has taken on a life of its own and the rowers get inspiration from each other.''

Parnell was recognised at the Maadi Cup on Saturday when he was awarded the Bill Eady Cup for being Rowing New Zealand's junior coach of the year.

''It came out of the blue and was the icing on the cake for me,'' Parnell said.

Kavanagh College shared the President's Scull with St Peter's College last year but won it outright this year. The final points were Kavanagh College 31, Whakatane High School 17 and St Peter's College 14.

Kavanagh College rowers won seven medals - five gold and two silver - last week and was the dominant Otago school.

McBride had a busy day on Saturday, winning three gold medals in three hours.

It started with the girls under-18 lightweight single sculls that she won in 7min 55.62sec from Hannah Bailey (Woodford House) and Ashlea Quirk (Napier Girls').

She was on the water again two hours later and won the girls under-18 lightweight double sculls with Hannah Duggan in 7min 27.73sec from the Epsom Girls' pair of Sarah Smith and Lucy Jones.

The St Hilda's pair of Claudia Dyet and Jess Taylor was second in the B final in this event in 8min 04.10sec.

There was just an hour break before McBride and Duggan were on the water again in the girls under-18 quadruple sculls with Caitlin Buist, Anna O'Leary and cox Phoebe McBride.

They won comfortably in 7min 10.07sec from the Diocesan School for Girls and Southland Girls'.

The tactical plan for McBride and the Kavanagh College crews was to get to the front early and dictate the race.

''I told Zoe to always have something left in the tank for the quadruple sculls,'' Parnell said.

''We wanted to nail that one.''

Duggan has been a solid partner for McBride and has won six Maadi Cup gold medals in the last three years - two (2011), one (2012) and three (2013).

Jack O'Leary (Kavanagh College) collected a silver medal in the boys under-18 single sculls on Saturday in 7min 11.83sec behind Mitchell MacKenzie-Mol (Queen Charlotte College) who won in 7min 09.43sec.

A highlight of the second day of finals came from Riley Bruce (Mount Aspiring College) who won the boys under-16 singles sculls in 7min 41.83sec from Hayden Robertson (Onslow College).

The other gold medal by Otago schools on Saturday was won by the Wakatipu High School boys under-18 novice coxed four of George Dennison, Latham Jones, Reid Long, Logan Boyd and cox Henry Matthews in 6min 41.07sec.

The St Kevin's College girls under-16 double sculls of Julia Fauth and Tiana Mihaere won a silver medal in 7min 47.01sec.

Otago schools won 12 medals - eight gold, three silver and one bronze - at the Maadi Cup. Last year, 13 medals - five gold, three silver and five bronze - were won.

Maadi Cup
Otago gold medallists

Zoe McBride, Hannah Duggan, Caitlin Buist, Anna O'Leary, Phoebe McBride, Jack O'Leary (Kavanagh), Julia Fauth (St Kevin's), Riley Bruce (Mount Aspiring College), George Dennison, Latham Jones, Reid Long, Logan Boyd, Henry Matthews (Wakatipu HS).

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