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Medals Galore at National British Rowing Indoor Championships

Medals Galore for GMS at the National British Rowing Indoor Championships (BRIC). The BRIC took place on Saturday. For the second year running this was a virtual event, which is not quite as exciting as competing in front of thousands at the Olympic Velodrome in London. However, the noise levels in the school hall, as the whole squad cheered on the competitors, certainly was a rival to the live event.

The competition started with our Year 7s racing over 2 minutes: they were brilliant, beating their personal bests on this national stage. GMS kicked off GMS’s haul of medals with Tommy Pitwell picking up Bronze in the boys’ event and Sofia Mills Miguel collecting Bronze in the girls’ event, beating team mate Erin Ford by just 4m.

In the Year 8 event,  Ernie Stevens kept the medal tally rolling, going one better with his row over 3 minutes to collect Silver. Ben Symon had a good result in 6th place. In the girls’ event Lucy Platt and Natasha Pendlebury had a very close race, with Lucy just piping Natasha coming 6th overall.

In Year 9, both boys and girls raced well, with Can Guccumengil for the boys and Elise Whyte for the girls being the best performers.

Year 10 had 4-minute races and 500m sprints. For the boys, Leo Chapman set off at blistering pace and was up at the top of the field for the first half of the race, but started to drop behind a little as the race went on, while Ethan Hunt took a more conservative approach, and although giving up quite a lot at the start gained on all the leaders over the final 2 minutes. They both earned themselves great results: Leo just beating Ethan into 4th place on the line.

In the Year 10 girls’ race Charlotte Greening performed amazingly, with her usual determination settled at her personal best (PB) pace well, but she knew she had to stay in touch with the top few.  As the race wore on and the whole field started to slow slightly, Charlotte was amazing in the way she pushed harder, finishing in Bronze medal place. She later competed in the 500m with other Year 10 girls. In the sprint, the noise level in the hall was enormous as at one point: GMS were 1 , 2 and 3 in the race. A fantastic row by Sophie Wharfe, who won Gold and Poopy Spence who won Bronze.

Year 11 boys have struggled recently with illness, injury and a focus on their mocks, and so were not expecting great things but they out performed their expectations. The three Year 11s raced each other as much as the rest of the field and finished an amazing 4th, 5th and 6th. Sal Dunn 4th, with Jack Clark and Foe Cogan just behind.

The Year 11 girls, including reigning champion Emily Downing, entered for the 6 minute and the 500m sprint. In her first race, she set off on her target pace and maintained a cool head when a couple of her rivals opened up a lead of some 20 plus metres. With 2 minutes left, her pacing sped up and she gained time on the leader. The gap closed steadily, with just 20 seconds left the gap was down to 2 m. Her opposition found something in those last 10 strokes to hold her at 2m down. A great Silver but bitter disappointment from Emily’s viewpoint. Later she rowed in the 500m, despite being the third race of the afternoon she came away with Silver: a brilliant result for this exceptionally competitive young athlete, despite the Gold eluding her.

The Sixth Form rowers concentrated on the team relays, with one exception where James Robson wanted to go for yet another individual medal in the 500m sprint. True to form he did not disappoint winning an impressive Bronze. The relays were the crescendo for the cheering rowers. GMS had three teams:

Boys -Henry Gavin, Tom Wiles, Aidan Kelly and James Robson

Mixed – Erin Huddleston, Amelia Eldridge, Noah Grottrup, Hugo Loretto

Girls – Emily Downing, Olivia Fyfe, Maddie Jones and Abi Forgenie

Last year, GMS earned a Silver in the boys’ event, so hoped to medal with this team. The results blew away all previous years’ successes with the boys taking Silver; the two other teams taking Gold.

In the girls’ event, GMS dominated from the start and forged ahead of the field throughout the race.

In the mixed event, sadly, there were technical difficulties, which meant three of the crews had to compete off-line and submit the scores. From all the online scores the participants and spectators knew GMS were over a second ahead of the field,  but had to wait a tense 10 minutes before the Gold was confirmed.

Saturday was a really great day for GMSBC.



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