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Medals galore for Stratford juniors at indoor championships

Stratford Boat Club’s junior squad with their medals from the annual Indoor Rowing Championships.
Stratford Boat Club’s junior squad with their medals from the annual Indoor Rowing Championships.


STRATFORD Boat Club came away with plenty of medals from the annual Indoor Rowing Championships held at King’s School Worcester on Saturday.

First up was J14 Harriet Noyes in the four-minute race where she pushed hard to take an early lead.

This continued to build and she finished with a comfortable win over her nearest rivals.

Next up were the J15 five-minute races.

Here Freya Watts, Fleur Griffiths and Lucy Browne took part in the closely-fought girls’ event where they came up against the recently-crowned British champion from King’s Worcester, Maple Unwin.

She was too tough to beat but Watts and Griffiths took the silver and bronze medals respectively.

Tomi Wilcock took part in the equivalent boys’ event where after comfortably winning his heat, he was pipped by just four metres from the second heat and picked up the silver medal.

Bella Chappelhow and Ruby Howells were next up in the J15 500m girls’ event.

Both started fast and it quickly became a race between the two of them.

On this occasion, it was Chappelhow that was victorious, with Howells closely behind taking the silver.

For the relays, Stratford BC fielded two J15 girls’ teams into another close race.

King’s Worcester and the first team for Stratford developed a race between them and it quickly became apparent these two were going to get the gold and silver.

The Stratford team of Watts, Griffiths, Howells and Chappelhow managed to push ahead to win by just 0.6 seconds.

These girls then turned to cheer for the second team, who had also developed a race between them and RGS Worcester for third and fourth places.

The Stratford team of Browne, Harriet Holmes and Noyes put in a big push and finished 1.9 seconds ahead of RGS.

J15 coach Abi Terry said: “It was a fantastic day’s racing with Stratford picking up five golds, three silvers and two bronze medals, with all athletes coming home with at least one medal.”

Emma Harrison and Martha Usselmann took part in the Year 11 girls' 500m individual races.

They achieved good middle of the pack scores, with Usselmann close behind the bronze medal position.

The J16s also fielded a strong Year 11 boys’ 500m competitor in Will Clarke, who showed his skill in easily beating his nearest rival over the three heats to comfortably win gold.

At the end of the competition Usselmann, Harrison and Clarke, along with Wilcox, joined forces in the Year 11 3,000m mixed relay where they comfortably won gold.

Stratford’s sister club, King Edward VI School also had four rowers competing at the event.

First up were Joe Hodson and Sam Thornton in the sixth form 2km race.

They both started strong and quickly pulled away from the rest of the field.

Hodson took the gold and Thornton finished only a few seconds behind for the silver, ten seconds ahead of third place.

Up next were Adam Baylis and Felix Crabtree in the sixth form 500m race.

After having seen the times to beat in a previous heat, the boys started strong and held their own.

Crabtree came home in third place and Baylis claimed fourth place just 1.7 seconds off the medal-paying positions.

To finish the event, the boys had the sixth form relay, a 2km race split between four people.

They started strong and displayed great composure, sadly losing out to King’s Worcester by four seconds.

This gave them the silver medal, meaning KES came away with a very impressive tally of medals – one gold, five silver and a bronze.

Rowing coach Bill Sullivan said: It was a great haul of medals. They should be very proud of themselves.”

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