We had seven students at the National Rowing Centre in Cork from Friday the 16th to Sunday 18th December to take part in Rowing Ireland’s National team trials. It involved EAP athletes Sam McKeown and Tiernan Oliver along with Academy athletes Ewan Murray, Miles Taylor, Jordan Wilson, Olivia Blundell and Roisin Maguire. All trial races were conducted over 6K course. On Saturday, everyone raced in singles sculls apart from Roisin Maguire who was not able to make it until Saturday afternoon.
Sam McKeown, he had a very good weekend. He was third overall in a time of 23.57 behind Mark O Donovan (23.53) and Shane O Driscoll (23.57) who were both the Senior World Championship in Rotterdam in August last. Sam was also ahead of Olympic silver medalist Garry O’Donovan (24.09). Tiernan finished 6th in a time of 24.17. The only one that was missing from that field was Paul O Donovan. It showed significant progress by Sam and Tiernan in the single sculls.
Tiernan and Sam combined on Sunday the race the same distance in the double sculls. They won this race in impressive fashion ahead of a combination of Shane O’Driscoll and Mark O’Donovan. Calculating their performance in GMT % they scored 81.7%, second overall to Sanita Puspure (83.9%) and ahead of Shane and Mark (81.3%). The first and third boats have consistently been top performers for Rowing Ireland last season. The only other boat ahead of these are the men’s double scull of Paul and Garry O’Donovan. This result put the QUB rowers well up the rankings with Rowing Ireland so far this season. They can now look forward to training with Garry and Paul in Seville in January with confidence.
Some even more impressive results came from our Academy rowers Ewan Murray, Miles Taylor and Jordan Wilson. On Saturday Ewan Murray finished third in the lightweight u23 single sculls in a time of 24.44 behind Fintan McCarthy (24.22) and Colm Hennessy (24.41) both of whom were in the lightweight u23 quad at last year’s world championships where they missed out on a medal. He was ahead of others that made up that crew. Miles Taylor and Jordan Wilson finished 9th and 10th in the same race finishing ahead of rowers that competed at the World University Championships. This is good work from Jordan Wilson considering that he took up sculling in August this year. Both guys were just inside our cut off point on the ergs for Academy last year and since then they have worked hard and made big improvements in their physiology which has shown up on PB’s on the ergs and excellent results on the water. They raced in composite double sculls on Sunday over 6k and Ewan came out as the winning u23 double, with Jordan third and Miles fourth.
There is a lot of good work done by the rowers to date, along with the support of Queen’s Sport, Mike, Hugh and Pertina and thus we have reasonable prospects for the season ahead.