Nanaimo Rowing Club athlete Meg Montgomery practises Tuesday at Long Lake. Montgomery won a national championship in junior singles at the high school national rowing championships earlier this month at St. Catharines

Nanaimo Rowing Club athlete Meg Montgomery practises Tuesday at Long Lake. Montgomery won a national championship in junior singles at the high school national rowing championships earlier this month at St. Catharines

Rower wins national championship for Dover Bay

Athletes from Dover Bay and Wellington secondary schools medalled at the CSSRA championships this month in St. Catharines, Ont.

Nanaimo rowers got the rare opportunity to represent their schools and made the most of it.

Athletes from Dover Bay and Wellington secondary schools medalled at the Canadian Secondary Schools Rowing Association championships this month in St. Catharines, Ont.

“It was great. It was our best performance ever there,” said Craig Rutherford, Nanaimo Rowing Club coach. “It was the first-ever national championship there for the club and for Dover Bay.”

Dover’s Meg Montgomery won her junior division in a competitive final June 5, finishing in eight minutes, 30.21 seconds to edge out the runner-up by three-tenths of a second.

“She won by about a metre and just pulled ahead in probably the last five or 10 strokes, so it was super tight,” Rutherford said.

Riley Knight and Makala Mullaly, representing Wellington, placed second in the senior division.

“By that time it was super rough conditions and the course was really deteriorating…” Rutherford said. “The conditions got the best of them a bit.”

Rutherford said the national success represents a lot of hard work by the athletes, who practise as often as nine times per week.

“Lots of time spent on the lake, lots of time spent in the boathouse on the rowing machine through the winter and that sort of stuff,” he said.

For Knight, high school nationals was just one of the reasons for her trip, as she also participated in national junior team tryouts. She was successful in making Rowing Canada’s Tier 2 junior team and she will represent her country at the Can Am Mex Regatta in Sarasota, Fla., from July 16-17. Rutherford was named a coach of that team.

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