Boys are national champs

November 30, 2017

Shepparton Rowing Club had 11 members compete in the Australian Indoor Rowing Championships earlier this month, snaring four national titles. Pictured - Back (from left): Jack Puise, Tom Schier, Tom Dooley-Heath, Toby Crichton. Front (from left): James Eldred, Michael Eldred, Nick Waller, Isabella Bennett, Hayley Kidd. Sophie Reinehr and Lydia Todd competed at different times to the main group.

A pair of young rowers added to Greater Shepparton’s rich history of sporting success on the national stage.

Tom Dooley-Heath and Jack Puise of the Shepparton Rowing Club were crowned national champions at the recent Australian Indoor Rowing Championships, defeating competitors from across the country to claim their respective titles.

For first-year Shepparton rower Puise, one national gold was not nearly enough, with the rising star snaring the top gong in the three separate categories on offer in his male 12-13 years age group.

Puise claimed the 1000m, 500m and one-minute races by large margins to engineer the clean sweep of his class.

The young rower beat the field of 11 by 28m in the fast-paced timed event, a group of the same amount by 8.3 seconds in the 500m dash and emphatically defeated his nearest rival by 16 seconds in the longer format.

Meanwhile, Dooley-Heath got the nod in his male under-16 one-minute race by just one metre, ousting 20 other rowers for the national title.

The teen also competed well in the 500m and 1000m races, finishing third and fourth respectively.

The championships, which were held for the second year running earlier on this month, are billed as an opportunity for rowers to compete at a national level without leaving their home town.

More than 700 competitors descended on 23 event centres, including two Australian Defence Force bases in the Middle East, with 11 members of the Shepparton Rowing Club taking part in proceedings.

Toby Crichton (second in the male 19-29 one-minute race and third in the 1000m) and Tom Schier (third in the male under-19 one-minute event) also had podium finishes in the championships, continuing their great seasons so far.

The other Shepparton rowers to compete in the event were James Eldred, Nick Waller, Michael Eldred, Lydia Todd, Sophie Reinehr, Isabella Bennett and Hayley Tidd, with numerous personal best times recorded.

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