Kearney takes bronze

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Johannah Kearney took out a bronze medal in the Premier Pair at the North Island Champs at Lake Karapiro on Sunday.

The 19-year-old rowed with Invercargill’s Kristen Froude and they were narrowly pipped to the gold and silver medals by teams of the Elite Rowing NZ Summer Squad.

Kearney and Froude also won silver in the open pair in the South Island Champs at Lake Ruataniwha in Twizel nine days ago.

The former St Kevin’s College student has rowed for New Zealand for the last two seasons, winning bronze in the Junior NZ Under-19 four in Bulgaria in 2012 before notching bronze in the NZ Under-23 four in Linz, Austria, last year.

Oamaru Rowing Club’s Stew Mitchell said he had fond memories of Kearney’s strokes into rowing and was proud of her continued success within the sport.

“Johannah impressed from the moment she began rowing at an Introduction to Rowing I ran in term one back in 2007, in which she took part along with her sister Caitlan and other schoolmates from St Joseph’s and one or two from St Kevin’s,” he said.

Mitchell said the starlet first displayed her potential alongside Stacey Hore at the Canterbury Champs in the 2007/08 season, where the duo stormed home in their heats of the Novice Double Sculls in the third fastest time from 23 starters.

The next year saw St Kevin’s take out the Girls Under-15 Eight title at the Maadi Cup regatta under Owen Gould, with the Kearney twins narrowly missing out on Gold in the Double event.

“Her form continued through to the 2012 Maadi Regatta,” said Mitchell.

“Amongst other races, the Kearney Twins were second in the Under-18 Pair Oared event earning an NZ Junior Trial. It has been my privilege to help this great young lady along the way.”

Kearney has trained with the Southern RPC (Regional Performance Centre) in Christchurch this summer, where she still rows under the banner of the Oamaru Rowing Club, and is now looking ahead to the Bankstream NZ Senior National Champs at Lake Karapiro next week.

By JAMES FORD

PHOTO: Johannah Kearney and Kristen Froude won bronze at the North Island Champs at Lake Karapiro on Sunday – SUPPLIED