Talk about a long time between drinks; Otago Girls High School’s rowing team had plenty of reason to celebrate on the first morning of finals at the Aon Maadi Cup at Lake Ruataniwha today.
The Dunedin school’s last Maadi medal came back in 2001, a brace of golds in under 19 single and double.
But today in the under 17 coxed quad, there was a bronze to add to the collection.
The foursome of Harriet Thompson, Islay Merriman, Maggie Hepburn, Sophie Orchiston and cox Emily Esplin did a grand job in pipping Auckland’s Glendowie College by a mere .17s.
Wakatipu High School were winning their fourth gold of the morning and St Andrew’s College were second. Cue unconfined delight for the Otago supporters and coaching staff.
‘’Six or seven years ago we were barely surviving,’’ Paul Merriman, one of the coaching crew said.
‘’But in the last six years there’s been a lot of parental support and fund raising. Last year we made two A finals, and they were the first in eight years.
‘’Now we’re in five A finals, which is unprecedented for us.’’
Merriman put it down to the culmination of a lot of energy from a lot of people.
At the recent South Island champs, OGHS rowers did win five medals, including two golds and ‘’we’re slowly getting better and better, and this is the icing on the cake’’.
There are four A finals to go, and Otago Girls have hopes of a little more icing to be added to the cake.