Kearney creates rowing history

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Johannah Kearney’s medal performances at the Bankstream National Rowing Champs held on Lake Karapiro last week have seen her named in the list of trialists for the Under-23 and Elite teams to reassemble at the lake this weekend.

At the end of the upcoming trials on March 6, crews will be announced for the Under-23 and the Elite World Cup and World Champs Teams.

The 19-year-old’s success at the nationals with her Southern Regional Performance Centre Team (RPC) got off to a good start, with a win in the Under-22 Eights over Auckland RPC and North Shore.

Next up was a silver medal in the Under-22 Pair with Kristen Froude, with the gold going to Central’s Holly Greenslade and Ruby Tew, who had both rowed with Kearney in the Four as Bronze Medallists at the Junior Worlds and Under-23s respectively in 2012 and 2013.

Southern narrowly lost out to Central again in the Premier Four, taking out the silver but saved the best for last by taking out the Premier Eight, holding off Central to take the gold in a thrilling encounter.

This feat earned the former St Kevin’s College student the coveted “Red Coat” awarded to all winners of Premier events. Kearney became the first recipient of the Oamaru Club since 1962, when the “Perth Four” of Win Stephens, Keith Heselwood, Bill Smedley and George Paterson, with Barry Harbert as Cox, retained the Boss Rooster before going on to claim the Empire games title.

Kearney said she was now looking ahead to the trials, but was thankful for the help she had received throughout the season.

“It’s such an amazing opportunity to row with RPC (Southern Regional Performance Centre crew),” she said.

“It was a good race and we rowed well. It’s so exciting.

“It’s been a goal over the summer since moving to Christchurch to train. It was a great opportunity. A lot of people have helped me out this season and there’s still plenty of the season left so I’ll just have to stay positive.”

PHOTO: SUPPLIED

COVETED: Johannah Kearney in her coveted red coat will now look ahead to the upcoming Under-23 and Elite teams’ trial.