Harriet gets into the rhythm with sculls
ROWING: Harriet Hudson has beaten the best in Australia to win her first A final in single scull rowing at the nationals.
After attending primary school at Wheatvale State School and Toowoomba Preparatory School, she started her secondary education as a boarder at Somerville House in Brisbane where she first competed in rowing.
She beat 41 other rowers from all states to win gold in the under-17 single scull at the nationals on the Olympic rowing and kayak course at Penrith.
Hudson, 16, pulled away from the second place getter with 250m to go to win by more than a boat length.
After winning the B final at the nationals last year, she told the Daily News she was keen to make the A final this year for the top eight rowers. She more than fulfilled that ambition to make the A final by winning her first single scull gold medal at national level.
Hudson has won every state single scull race she has contested since losing her balance and falling into the Fitzroy River at Rockhampton during her first state competition in 2010.
She combined with fellow Somerville House student Maddie Horridge to win silver in the U17 double scull. For the past three years, they have rowed together and have an unbeaten record at state level.
Hudson won silver in the U19 quad scull in a team of four from Somerville House. The team trained for two days at Leslie Dam in January as part of their preparation for the nationals.
They won bronze in the U23 quad scull, even thought they are up to six years younger than some of the other competitors.
Hudson won bronze with cox Meg McKenzie, who has relatives at Killarney, in the U18 schoolgirls' coxed quad category on Sunday afternoon at Penrith in a field of 32.
The national selectors were at the regatta, but for Hudson, her total focus at present is rowing for Somerville House and finishing the final two years of her education.
While training at Leslie Dam, she spoke of the need to work hard at her education to set up a career path in addition to her interest in sport.
The Somerville House girls were coached by Oleg Shishkin, who was a Russian national rower and former head coach of the Russian team.
After a short break over the Easter holidays, the Somerville House rowing squad will return to training in Term 2.