Junior rowers churn it up at high school championships

South Cariboo Rowing Club members make a medal haul at BC High School Rowing Championships

Local competitors at the BC High School Rowing Championships were Amy Dykstra

Local competitors at the BC High School Rowing Championships were Amy Dykstra

South Cariboo Rowing Club members showed they have what it takes to compete when they took to the water at the North Shore High School Rowing Championships.

The event took place in Deep Cove on Oct. 22, with a dozen schools competing. Racing ran later into the day than expected, so all of the finals had to be cancelled and medals were awarded to winners of each heat.

The local club came home with nine gold medals, one silver and one bronze, and for coach Jack Jenkins, it means his junior program is succeeding.

“It tells us we have some really good kids. Most are novice, which means this is their first year. We’re really thrilled they did so well.”

For several of his girls, it was the first time they competed in singles, Jenkins says, adding he was proud of how they handled it.

“It takes more than a little courage to row a boat out to Deep Cove Inlet and race back and cross the finish line first. I knew the girls had the ability to row well and I was proud they had the courage and fortitude to do it.”

Josie Duncan and Alex Lubbe were winners of their novice women’s single heats.

Lauren Sortome and Jill Matlock won their intermediate women’s single events before pairing up to win the intermediate women’s double. Duncan and Lubbe also won their novice women’s double.

Gold medals also went to the intermediate women’s coxed quad with Matlock, Sortome, Jemma Van Osch, Catherine Slamka from Kelowna, and coxswain Ryan Bock.

Van Osch and Slamka also teamed up to win their intermediate women’s double event.

The team of Tyra Van Osch and Amy Dykstra placed first in their novice women’s double race.

Silver medals went to Kelly Diether of Horse Lake and Nicole Samuelson from Kelowna in novice women’s pairs.

The team of Brian Chung, Anna Craig, Diether and Samuelson collected bronze for novice women’s coxed quad.

The next big challenge for several of the club members will be the Western Canada Indoor Rowing Championships in Vancouver early next year.