Wellington schools snap up Maadi medals

The St Pat’s Town rowing team scaled the Maadi mountain at Lake Karapiro on Saturday.

Town recorded their first gold at a Maadi regatta when Daniel Ward and Josh Ngaia combined to win the under-16 double sculls.

It was the high point of a big tournament week for the school.

Town also retained their national futsal title, the softball team was the runner-up in the national championships, the cricket first XI qualified for the final of the regional Gillette Cup tournament and the senior volleyball side recorded a top 10 finish in division I.

It was a good Maadi in general for Wellington schools, with the Wellington College team winning gold in the under-16 coxed quad.

Maadi golds have been rare gems. It was the first time for years that Wellington schools had won two golds at a Maadi regatta and there had been just five A final wins in the previous 10 years.

The seven medals this year also equalled the 2014 return, which had been the best for at least a decade.

There is no shortage of competition at Maadi, which this year attracted 2196 rowers, from 122 schools.

Ward and Ngaia had won bronze in the under-15 division at the 2014 regatta but another podium finish had been looking unlikely.

The crew had finished fifth in the A final at the North Island championships a fortnight earlier, were beaten in their quarter-final at Maadi and qualified seventh for the final when fourth in their semi-final.

As a result, Ward and Ngaia had started to think that their best chance of a medal lay with the under-16 quad, which had been fourth in the North Island final and qualified third for the Maadi final.

However, the quad finished fourth, behind Wellington College. “That was pretty gutting,” Ngaia said. “The double was our last go and missing a medal in the quad made us want it more. We had been pretty slow in the semifinal and I’m not sure why. We had been expecting to do better and had been pretty nervous.”

Ward and Ngaia stayed in contact with the leaders in the final before they and Nelson College put a break on the field. Nelson, who were in the next lane, led by about a canvas 250m out but the Town crew rallied again, to win by less than a second. “I was pretty sure we had won and it felt pretty good,” Ngaia said.

Ngaia and Ward are in year 12 but are young for their year group and are still 15.

Town coach Lua Tuiomanufili said the gold was a reward for hard work.

“We are lucky to have two guys who are so enthusiastic about working hard. They are self motivated and if you ask them to do something, they don’t complain, they just do it. Boys like that are hard to find.

“Their erg scores are good for their age and they have good levers and size.

“I think they lost a bit of confidence after the North Island,” Tuiomanufili said. “They needed to get their confidence back and it all seemed to come right on the day.

“We also worked on their speed, because we knew that they had done a lot of work and that their base fitness would pull them through.”

Andrew Loveard, the stroke for the winning Wellington College quad, matched his sister, Pippa, by winning a Maadi gold. Pippa won gold for Wellington Girls’ in the under-18 double sculls in 2012.

The Wellington College crew had been beaten by St Peter’s at the North Island regatta but dominated their rivals last week, winning all their races and having a margin of more than five seconds in the final.

Wellington College had a good week, making nine A finals and picking up four medals, with Thomas Cummack claiming two. They also finished fifth in the competition for the leading sculling school at the regatta.

Onslow’s Hayden Robertson, the under-17 single sculls winner last year, rose to the occasion again as the runner-up in the under-18 division and was among three Wellington rowers selected to trial for the New Zealand junior team.

Wellington East defied their leadup form by claiming bronze in the prestigious under-18 coxed four, after scraping into the final by finishing third in their repechage.

MAADI MEDALS

GOLD:

 

  • St Pat’s Town: Under-16 double sculls – Daniel Ward and Josh Ngaia.
  • Wellington College: Under-16 quadruple sculls – Andrew Loveard, Connor Moore, Harry Beasley, Fergus Murray, Liam Stevens (cox).

 

SILVER:

 

  • Onslow College: Under-18 single sculls – Hayden Robertson.
  • Wellington College: Under-18 lightweight double – Tristan Cotter and Sam Wilkins.

 

BRONZE:

 

  • Wellington College: Under -17 single sculls – Thomas Cummack.
  • Wellington College: Under-17 double sculls – Lucas Toovey and Thomas Cummack.
  • Wellington East: Under-18 coxed four – Bella Cordwell, Kate Johnson, Stella Hudson, Ashley McCarty-Carnahan, Hannah McMullan (Cox).
  • NZ junior trialists: Bella Cordwell (East), Bianca van Dyk (Wellington Girls), Hayden Robertson (Onslow).
  • North Island under-18 trialists: Thomas Cummack (Wellington College), Lucy Bird (Hutt Valley), Liam Stevens (Wellington College).