Rawson Rowing Threepeat; Athletics go Back to Back!
By Harry Croker, Dean of Undergraduates
The College VIII has once again embodied the old adage, hard work beats talent when talent won’t work hard, notching up their third consecutive victory. Driven by fourth year and rowing stalwart, Mr Nick Trotter, and fellow convenor, second year Mr Henry Blackwell, the crew clocked up 137 training sessions this year. Hard and uncompromising training has been the formula for the crew’s success since the sport’s overhaul in 2020.
The training made the crew comfortable in the uncomfortable, which was certainly necessary on the day of the race. Thursday 6 October was drizzly and cold out at the foot of the mountains, but the Sydney International Regatta Centre had been a venue of good fortune over the past couple of years, and this VIII was never going to let a bit of rain stand in the way of a threepeat.
Six minutes, five seconds, and thirty three milliseconds later, the St Paul’s College Rowing dynasty was confirmed. A phenomenal achievement, no doubt, that had the potential to be oh so sweeter had better racing conditions prevailed on the day. They missed out on setting a new Rawson record by about six seconds, largely due to the rain and slight head wind.
St Andrew’s crossed the line for second place the best part of thirty seconds later, then John’s twenty seconds after that, then Wesley three minutes after that.
An honourable mention must go to the Paul’s/Women’s crew who won the mixed one thousand metre race with a time of 3.52.49.
It will be interesting to see how the crew of 2023 responds to the departure of key dynasty members, Messrs Wyatt Batt (BA/BAdvStud 5), Oscar Carr-Middleton (BCom/BAdvStud 4), Nick Trotter (BCom/BAdvStud 4), Rogan Leahy (BCom/BAdvStud 4), Tom Nivison (BBus/BSc 3) and Max Pearce (BCom/BAdvStud 3), who have all been there since that milestone day, back in 2020. With new blood, comes new opportunity, and what better time to embrace a new era than in 2023, a year that will undoubtedly be the biggest era change in the history of the College.
The winning continued with our athletes, who secured their second consecutive Rawson victory.
The squad had been flying under the radar, quietly toiling away with their training, and shocking everyone in attendance at Homebush on Friday 21 October with a victory, seemingly from nowhere. Perhaps knowing the College Formal awaited them later that evening was what gave them the edge.
Third year, Mr Connor Whiteley (BEc 3), capped off his final year at College, with three first place finishes from three events, for the third year in a row… that’s nine from nine since 2020. To emphasise this feat even further, the events he OWNS are the 800m, 1500m, and 5000m. That’s some serious mileage in one day. Athletics captain, Mr Hayden Fleming (BA/LLB 3), was strong as always, finishing first in the 200m, 400m, and 4x400m relay. Both Connor and Hayden will leave big shoes to fill when they leave College in a few weeks.
While the College didn’t secure the Rawson Cup in 2022, finishing the year with three Rawson victories (four if you count the four-way Cricket draw), is no small feat. The future looks bright for Paul’s, and with Rosebowl on the line in 2023, we have many more victories to look forward to.
PIC: St Paul’s VIII in Training [photo: Jason Xu He]