Rowing: More Otago crews book finals berths

Three more Otago crews have booked finals spots at the annual Maadi Cup regatta on Lake Ruataniwha.

With five crews already assured spots in tomorrow's and Saturday's medal races heading into yesterday's racing, Columba College's under-17 coxed eight was the first to join them.

The crew of Sophie Anderson, Clora Quinlan-Thompson, Milly Nesbit, Heidi Wright, Callie Turner, Ella Smillie, Abby Anderson, Grace Small and coxswain Margot Darling comprehensively won their repechage yesterday.

They only needed a top-three finish to advance, but blitzed the field by almost 6sec to win in 7min 6.44sec.

It is the second event Quinlan-Thompson is in the medal hunt for, after she locked up a finals berth with Kate Campbell in the girls under-18 coxless pair on Tuesday.

Otago Boys' High School's under-17 coxed four of Todd Bezett, William Sinclair, Oliver Higgins, Jayden Henderson and coxswain Tate Drummond also advanced to the finals.

They also needed a top-three finish in their repechage to advance, and were involved in a tight tussle with St Kentigern College and St Bede's College. St Kentigern crossed the line first in 6min 58.43sec, just 0.74sec ahead of Otago Boys', which barely pipped St Bede's.

The four Otago Boys' rowers are also in their school's under-17 coxed eight, which qualified for the finals on Tuesday.

Dunstan High School's girls under-15 coxed octuple sculls crew of Erin Calder, Ella Creagh, Iona Morton, Aisha Born, Shayla Alexander, Andre Schaap, Grace Ellis, Shaye Scott and coxswain Skye Morton also qualified for the medal races after finishing third in their repechage.

Quarterfinals and semifinals will be completed today, before the medal races start tomorrow morning.

More than 2200 athletes from 120 schools across the country are entered in the regatta.

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