Junior quad hopes high

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These are exciting times for Mark Taylor.
The Waitaki Boys’ High School rower has just completed an intensive training camp in Cambridge and is now in the Netherlands for the world junior championships.
“It’s definitely feeling like a bit of a dream,” he told the Oamaru Mail.
“At the start of this year, I wondered if I could get a trial with the juniors. That was just the goal, really.
“To be named in the team and have come this far is all a bit mind-blowing.”
Taylor (17) spent eight weeks with his junior quad team-mates at the Rowing New Zealand base in Cambridge and said it had been a memorable period in his life.
“The atmosphere up here has completely changed my perspective on rowing, and it’s given me a new view to how the whole sport works.
“The best part has been the people up here. It’s so interesting to hear their point of view on things.
“It’s been hard, but it was always going to be hard. That’s just part of the challenge.”
The camp was broken into two sections of four weeks, Taylor said.
The young rowers would be on light training the first week of each section but then “push our limits every day”.
Twice a day, the rowers would have a gym session followed by one or two hours on the water. Thursday mornings, Saturday afternoons and all day Sunday were free periods.
The result? Significant improvements, Taylor said.
“I’ve been doing a lot of work on my technique. The coach wanted to reorder the way I row, so of the four people in our quad, I’ve had to do the most work on my technique.
“Not big things, but just little changes that could make the difference.”
Taylor is joined in the junior quad by Oliver Maclean (King’s College), Sam Monkley (Cambridge High School) and Thomas Cummack (Star Boating Club).
It was a closeknit group, he said, and all four young men were hopeful of success in Rotterdam.
“It’s hard to say. But we heard the winners of the European championships were going only a second or two faster than us, and they’re our main competition.
“We’ve got high hopes, especially as we haven’t had the perfect conditions to really test ourselves. I guess we’ll find out on the day.”
Taylor, who produced a stunning performance to win the under-17 single sculls at the Maadi Cup in April, will be joined by parents Geoff and Katrina in Rotterdam.
He has been attending
St Peter’s School in Cambridge but still proudly wearing
his Waitaki Boys’ blazer each day.