Rowing: Otago crews secure two golds

Waitaki Boys’ High School single sculler Mark Taylor  celebrates his win in the boys under-17...
Waitaki Boys’ High School single sculler Mark Taylor celebrates his win in the boys under-17 race in the Maadi Cup on lake Ruataniwha yesterday. John McGlashan College bronze medallist Bradley Leydon is also pictured. Photo supplied.
Waitaki Boys' High School single sculler Mark Taylor opened Otago's medal account in style at the annual Maadi Cup regatta yesterday.

He won the first medal race - the boys under-17 single - on the penultimate day of the regatta on Lake Ruataniwha.

It was a classy race from Taylor, who earlier in the week won his heat and semifinal, before controlling yesterday's medal race.

He was in control of the race at the midway point, and powered to the finish line to win in 7min 48.69sec.

Taylor outgunned Cambridge High School's Sam Monkley, who was second in 7min 52.93sec, while John McGlashan College's Bradley Leydon won bronze in 7min 54.66sec.

Columba College's girls under-18 lightweight coxed four also won gold, the school's first gold medal at the regatta in "living memory'', Otago University Rowing Club director Glen Sinclair said.

The crew of Sara Griffin, Heidi Wright, Sophie Anderson, Millie Wright and coxswain Margot Darling, who won their heat earlier in the week, produced another good performance when it counted most.

They crossed the line in 7min 52.36, more than 3sec clear of St Kentigern College's second-placed crew.

Columba also won a silver medal in the girls under-18 coxed eight, when Milly Nesbit, Abby Anderson, Amber Cunningham, Olivia McRae, Abby Griffin, Ellen Foley, Nakita Horne, Wright and coxswain Darling combined.

They never seriously threatened gold medal winners Rangi Ruru Girls' School, but had a good battle with Diocesan School for Girls for the silver medal.

Leydon also nabbed a second bronze medal later in the day, when he and McGlashan's Alexander Timmings edged Timaru Boys' High School's Brad Cvitanich and Tim Hepburn to the line.

Leydon and Timmings held off the fast-finishing Cvitanich and Hepburn to cross the line 0.48sec ahead.

Otago has a bunch of crews in the running for medals on the final day today, including Wakatipu High School's Lucia King-Smith and Francesca Archibald in the girls under-15 double sculls.

More than 2200 rowers from 120 schools across the country are competing in the annual regatta.

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