STRATFORD Boat Club’s youngsters came away with a number of medals when they competed in the South of England Indoor Rowing Championships held at the White Horse Leisure Centre in Abingdon.
The first event was the WJ14 individual four-minute race. Anne Mynors, Ruby Howells, Lucy Browne, Freya Watts and Harriet Holmes finished just outside the medal places, but came away with several personal bests.
Bella Chappelhow, despite carrying a small injury, managed to secure a silver medal while the bronze was claimed by Fleur Griffiths, who also recorded a new personal best.
Next up were the J14 boys of Toby Sartain, Will Beattie and Tomi Wilcock, who were also competing in the four-minute event.
All the boys came away with PBs, with Wilcock finishing the highest in fifth place. The individual events continued with J15s Amelie Sartain, Sophie Elstone and Will Clarke competing in their respective five-minute events.
Sartain finished in a strong fifth in her race while Elstone took a remarkable gold in a new event record distance of 1,353 metres.
In the boys’ event, Clarke came away with a well-earned bronze medal.
Then it was time for the relays, with the J14s boys and girls all in action.
The J14 boys team of Wilcock, Sartain and Beattie all showed huge amounts of determination to complete the 2km race, finishing 6th.
The J14 girls were split into two teams, with Browne, Holmes and Mynors teaming up in the first race where they narrowly missed out on the medal places.
Chappelhow, Griffiths, Watts and a late sub in Howells were next up and stormed to the gold medal.
Wilcock and Beattie then teamed up with Clarke and Conar Aitchinson to compete in the J15 3km relay.
Facing larger opposition, they settled into third place.
And that was where they stayed when the crossed the finish to secure the bronze medal.
Watts showed great spirit and character to team up with three girls from Evesham Rowing Club to compete in their WJ15 relay.
Watts’ fine performance saw them placed just outside the medals
In the final race of the day, J15s Sartain and Elstone teamed up with J14s Chappelhow and Griffiths to compete in the W15 3km relay.
In another race which came down to the final few strokes, the Stratford girls dug in to finish in first place.
J14 coach Abi Terry said: “A brilliant day’s racing was had by all. Stratford finished the day with three gold, one silver and three bronze medals.”
J15 coach Trevor Tiller added: “It was great to see all the Stratford athletes really pushing themselves to the limit, not only for themselves, but also their team-mates.”
While the J14 and J15 squads were in Abingdon, the elite men’s senior, J16 and J17-18 squads went to the National Water Sports Centre in Nottingham for an arduous training day on their multi-lane course.