Sports students on world stage

Becki Leigh and Brooke Kilmister are currently competing in the Junior World Rowing Championships.

August is an exciting month for a few local young cyclists and rowers. St Peter’s School students Ally Wollaston and Finn Fisher-Black are competing in the UCI Junior World Track Championships in Switzerland next week, and Becki Leigh and Brooke Kilmister are currently in the Czech Republic taking part in the Junior World Rowing Championships.

Ally and Finn were rather busy in the lead up to the event, having both competed at the North Island Schools Road and Track Championships.

Finn Fisher-Black

Their consistent high performances in several selection events from late 2017 to early 2018 – including the Oceania Championships and the U19 and Elite Track Nationals – helped the pair gain selection on the NZ Junior team.

Despite the off bout of illness, Finn has been training for the past 15 weeks. “There have been setbacks along the way but now I feel as though the program is tracking along nicely,” he said, adding that he has high hopes for the world event.

“My biggest goal for the event is the same as everyone’s – to come home with a world title. But I would also be happy with any medal or even a new best time in my Individual Pursuit, as that is my main event,” he said.

Ally has also faced some obstacles ahead of the event but is feeling on-form after a successful weekend of racing at the NISS Championships.

“My main goal for the world champs is to make the podium in the Team Pursuit and get to top five in the Omnium,” she said.

The ICU Junior World Track Championships will run August 15 – 19.

Ally Wollaston

Brooke and Becki have had a busy winter too, preparing for the Junior World Rowing Championships. The girls are competing separately in teams of their own, Becki in the Women’s Quad and Brooke is in the Women’s Four.

They have been training ever since their week-long trial in the Term 1 school holidays – which saw them complete a 2km erg test and a total of 19 1000m seat races, along with a 2000m time trial.

“At the moment we’re in the middle of training, and I’m feeling tired but very excited for the weeks ahead, and the travel that comes with racing internationally,” said Becki.

The New Zealand team trained individually for six weeks before they all moved to Lake Karapiro for an eight-week training camp. They are currently in the second to last week of camp and are all buzzing to go overseas.

“Our main goals are to get into the A finals and be strong contenders for medals,” said Becki.

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