Eight of the best

The St Luke's team that claimed the Head of the River: Phobe Ellem, Sienna Clark, Megan O'Connor, Dayne Mortimer, Tobias Reynolds. Picture: SHANE JONES

By Shane Jones

For three St Luke’s students, their win in the Head of the River was the ideal way to end their rowing career at the school.

And it continued the school’s incredible record at the event.

St Luke’s Anglican School claimed its eighth straight win after crossing the line first in the 1000m mixed quad scull event on Sunday at Bucca.

The school led from start to finish and won by more than 17 seconds over Shalom College and Bundaberg North State High School.

Shalom College were the bridesmaids again after winning the first 20 editions of the Head of the River before St Luke’s took charge.

Gin Gin State High School and Bundaberg State High School did not enter a team.

For Sienna Clark, Phoebe Ellem, Tobias Reynolds and Dayne Mortimer, with cox Megan O’Connor, it mattered little as the team dominated.

“That was pretty much the race plan, do a hard start, get out in front and call it from there,” Mortimer said.

“The other crews gave us a good fight in the first 200 to 300 metres but we just ended up pulling away.”

Mortimer said the team knew each other well, which was a major advantage over the other schools.

“Fortunately we all train together in the same crew,” he said.

“You can throw us in with most of the people in the crew and we’d be good.”

But it also helps to work hard and have the right coaches, Ellem said.

“I think we are a determined hard working group,” she said.

“We get in and work together to get things done.

“We train as hard as we have to to do well.

“And we have some great coaches that are committed to working with us, they wake up early and stay late with us.

“We are really lucky to have them.”

Ellem with Mortimer and Reynolds will finish at the end of this year.

The future is in safe hands with Clark.

“After missing last year, I think we were all keen this year, especially as it is our last year in year 12,” Ellem said.

“We’re very luck to have her (Clark) riding up with us.”

Clark was one of the stars of the meet, winning four events, with O’Connor also part of the next generation looking to keep St Luke’s success going.

The focus for the students will now be on the Central Queensland Schools Regatta, which will be held in the last week of June.

Read more on the Head of the River on page 60.