Grammar School rowers grab medals at nationals
ROCKHAMPTON Grammar School student Lucy Blair has been rowing competitively for five years and now, in her final year, the hard work and commitment is paying off as she finds herself with an outside chance of representing Australia in Rio.
Partnering with Harriet Hudson from Somerville House in Brisbane, the girls took out bronze in the under-19 double scull at the Australian Schools National Championships last week.
Blair then went one better when she joined fellow Grammar girls Georgia Saunders, Imogen Storey, Briony Mueller and Georgia Henderson to win silver in the national schoolgirls coxed quad.
They were coxed by Year 9 student Georgia Henderson.
The boys got into the medal action with Max Napper and Robert Sinclair combining with two rowers from the Cathedral School, Townsville, to win bronze in the under-17s. They were also coxed by Henderson.
After their performance in Sydney, Blair, Saunders and Story have been selected in the Queensland Schoolgirls Eight, and will join their teammates and RGS rowing head coach John Smythe for an intensive seven-day camp in Brisbane next week.
The team will then return to Sydney for the national junior rowing trials.
On offer is the chance to represent Australia at the 2015 World Junior Rowing Championships in Rio de Janeiro in August.
For Blair, Rio might be a little optimistic this year, but she wants to continue in the sport after school, as she loves the challenge and the camaraderie.
"There are a lot of opportunities to carry on in rowing," Blair said.
"I love it. Rowing is a constant challenge, as it never gets easier.
"You do get faster, thankfully, but it never gets easier.
"Also, more than any other sport I have ever done, you get so close to your teammates - they are like family."
Rockhampton Grammar School (RGS) will have more than 100 rowers training and competing in the 2015 rowing season, which begins officially in Term 2.
There will be five regattas over the season, the biggest of which will be the Queensland Schools State Championships in September.
More than 800 rowers, families and supporters, representing schools from across the state, will converge on Rockhampton for the Queensland state schools regatta.