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Northampton School for Boys

Northampton School for Boys

National Junior Indoor Rowing Championships 2022

Outstanding Results at National Championships 2022

The National Junior Indoor Rowing Championships, 2022 were held as a ‘virtual’ event this year due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Over 7300 results were posted across all categories and competition was bound to be tough in the individual and relay events. NSB entered 22 competitors, with some making their first appearance and others being more experienced at this type of massed event.

Hopes were high of achieving some podium finishes, but nothing could be taken for granted. With all the training completed and relay changeovers practised, it was now down to producing performances on the day, when it mattered!

Six Year 7 boys were entered in the 2-minute timed event, and all six produced new personal best performances. With 1016 entries in this category, Michael Graham and Ben Chown secured the gold and bronze medal, with distances of 596m and 575m respectively. Will Bryan was just edged off the podium with 574m (4th), while Harry White 549m (9th), Daniel Tilston 528m (15th) and Jay Evans 510m (29th) all produced rows to be proud of.

Only one boy was selected for the Year 8, 3-minute event. Oliver Vasconcellos-Blanch competed in a field of 980 rowers and set a distance of 842m, a new p.b., to win a well-deserved silver medal, along with two other rowers. This shows how close racing can be.

The Year 9 event saw four rowers compete over 4-minutes, in an entry of 840 competitors. George Tonga’uiha claimed the silver medal with 1215m (p.b.), which was a credit to him as he had broken his arm before Christmas! Mario Vasconcellos-Blanch 1118, (13th), Cameron McKenzie 1110m (21st) and Ed Wang 1019m (100th), all set new personal best performances.

William Hunter and Eden Wiles took part in the Year 10, 5-minute event in an entry of 571 rowers. Both produced personal best performances with 1426m (12th) and 1374m (31st), respectively.

Adam Kherfani competed in the Year 11, 6-minute event and pulled a new p.b. of 1637m (19th) in a race of 192 rowers. To achieve this was a great performance, after only completing the distance a handful of times before.

The Sixth Form timed events were replaced by a 2000m row. Not for the faint-hearted! Year 12 saw Ben Evans on the podium, securing a bronze medal with a time of 6:41.1s (p.b.), missing second place by 0.2s.  Matthew Wilson set a new p.b. in 6:59.5s (6th), Henry Field 7:20.3s (11th) and Chloe Bird, rowing for Northampton RC, a p.b. in 8:47.3s (19th).

The final individual category was the Year 13’s. Ed Baker, who won a bronze at the recent World Championships 500m sprint, now turned his attention to the 2000m endurance event. Two totally different types of fitness required. To achieve a time of 6:42.8s and secure the silver medal was outstanding. Josh Manz was not far behind, winning the bronze medal in 6:44.6s (p.b.). Katie Hindson and Cerys Shrewsbury were nervous before their event, as neither had completed a full 2K race distance before. Nothing like being thrown in at the deep end. However, both should be really proud of their efforts, with Katie placing 4th and Cerys 8th, with times of 8:07.2s and 8:19.2s respectively.

The relay events are always exciting with teams of four rowers having to compete over 2000m, changing as often as they liked. Tactics from previous years were modified, so that each leg was now a short burst of maximum effort for about 30 seconds before a change was made. Exchanges had to be smooth and efficient to keep the overall team speed high.

The junior boys (Year 7 – 9) entered two crews in a field of 44 teams. Team A was made up of three Year 9’s and one Year 8, and Team B consisted of four Year 7’s, competing for experience! The pace was fast and furious, with some exchanges not as slick as expected. However, Team A (George Tonga’uiha, Mario Vasconcellos-Blanch, Cameron McKenzie and Oliver Vasconcellos Blanch) over-powered the field to win by 20seconds in a time of 6:19.3s. Team B (Michael Graham, Ben Chown, Will Bryan, Harry White) rowed way beyond expectations to secure the bronze medal in 6:49.9s.

The Senior Girls team of Katie Hindson, Cerys Shrewsbury, Lucy Sturgess and Jaya Soni competed in a field of 20 teams. A time of sub 7 minutes would be competitive for a podium finish, so posting an actual time of 6:55.5s exceeded expectations to take a well-deserved silver medal.

Ed Baker, Josh Manz, Ben Evans and Henry Field made up the Senior Boys relay team, and after finishing runners-up last year, it was the event that had been targeted. All four rowers produced an exceptional performance to win gold in 5:25.0s, a full 35 seconds clear of the field of 17 teams. So good was the time that London Youth Rowing, the event organisers, commented “Great rowing from the boys” and a “very talented crew!”

To achieve 11 podium finishes, (3 Gold, 4 Silver and 4 Bronze medals), and 24 personal best performances, makes this NSB’s most successful team at the National Junior Indoor Rowing Championships.

From a coach’s perspective I would like to congratulate the efforts of every competitor. To push to the limits of physical exertion takes mental as well as physical strength, and everybody should be proud of their achievements.

Next year will be a tough act to follow.

NSB – Never Stop Believing

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Year 7 – 2 minutes

Michael Graham



1016 entries

Ben Chown




Will Bryan




Harry White




Daniel Tilston




Jay Evans







Year 8 – 3 minutes

Oliver Vasconcellos-Blanch



980 entries








Year 9 – 4 minutes

George Tonga’uiha



840 entries

Mario Vasconcellos-Blanch




Cameron McKenzie




Ed Wang







Year 10 – 5 minutes

William Hunter



571 entries

Eden Wiles







Year 11 – 6 minutes

Adam Kherfani



192 entries








Year 12 Boys– 2000m

Ben Evans



44 entries

Matthew Wilson




Henry Field







Year 12 Girls – 2000m

Chloe Bird



49 entries








Year 13 Boys – 2000m

Edward Baker



16 entries

Josh Manz







Year 13 Girls – 2000m

Katie Hindson



20 entries

Cerys Shrewsbury







Junior Boys Relay – 2000m

44 entries

Team A

George Tonga’uiha, Mario Vasconcellos-Blanch,

Cameron McKenzie, Oliver Vasconcellos-Blanch



Junior Boys Relay – 2000m

44 entries

Team B

Michael Graham, Ben Chown,

Will Bryan, Harry White





Senior Girls Relay – 2000m

20 entries

Team A

Katie Hindson, Cerys Shrewsbury,

Lucy Sturgess, Jaya Soni





Senior Boys Relay – 2000m

17 entries

Team A

Edward Baker, Josh Manz

Ben Evans, Henry Field








Northampton School for Boys, Billing Road, Northampton, NN1 5RT
01604 230240