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the ruyton reporter

Ruyton has fashioned a Cross Country programme which unashamedly

underplays the individual and overplays the team performance. Ruyton has

created its competitive advantage by making running accessible, regardless of

ability, and making it identifiable by engendering a team ethos from the Junior

School onwards. Once there is an affinity with a sport, and a genuine

camaraderie amongst a group, the makings of a team become apparent. Then,

the shared experience of rugged early-morning training sessions at Xavier and

competing on punishing cross country courses create an even tighter fabric.

Every new entrant becomes aware of the routine and the need to play for the

team. When each girl dons the celebrated uniform, the spirits lift dramatically.

The warm up before competition is closer and more intimate. As the girls walk

to the line for the race they walk as a family. These girls compete for each other

and for something that they really believe in: ‘this team’.

In early May, the Ruyton Cross Country team negotiated the mud and undulation

on a technical Jells Park course with great precision, to win the State Cross

Country Relays. In late May, the team showed a steely determination to outlast

Wesley College at the State Road Relays at Albert Park. In June Ruyton won the

Overall State Cross Country Championship at Bundoora by a record margin.

By winning five of the six age groups, Ruyton cemented its position as the most

successful team in State Cross Country Championship history.

The sixteenth running of the GSV Cross Country Championship at Bundoora

was due to be a close fought contest between Ruyton, Loreto, Melbourne and

St Catherine’s. In the week leading up to the Championship, Ruyton remained

firm favourites, until a farm accident, a netball injury and a hockey incident

changed the composition of the Ruyton team. As Ruyton prepared for the first

race, it was evident that only ten girls remained from the starting line-up of

30 from last year’s premiership team.

The Junior Team (Year 7 and 8) understood that they needed to set up a

substantial lead over Loreto if Ruyton were to prevail on the day. The Junior Team

won the age group by 50 points and set up a massive 110 point lead over Loreto.

The day was now in the hands of Ruyton’s Intermediate and Senior age groups.

Buoyed by the inspirational performances of both the Junior ‘A’ and ‘B’ races, the

Intermediate age group not only held the lead, but also added to it, by narrowly

winning the age group by seven points.

The feeling amongst the Senior girls was one of sorority and reflection, as many

of themwould be competing for Ruyton for the last time. Senior teams are very

dependent on the quality of their leaders. Ruyton’s 2016 Cross Country Captains,

Paris Powell, Meredith Rule and Laura Powell, are respected, accessible and hold

a commanding presence. As they led the team to the

start line, the teamwalked as one. Teams with genuine

unity and purpose are rarely beaten. The Senior team

surpassed all expectations, to give Ruyton a clean sweep

of victories on the day. As the Captains held the GSV

Trophy aloft, there was a knowingness in the group:

a knowledge that this team, when it summons itself

as a unit, has the ability to achieve victory.

Mr Stephen Ellinghaus,

Director of Athletics

Ruyton Rhythmic Gymnastics took out the

All Around Victorian Championship in Levels 7,

8 and 9 International and Senior International,

with ten athletes in total selected in the State

team. Year 8 student, Thu Luu, competed in

the Victorian Championships and made a clean

sweep, with four apparatus gold medals in

Level 9 International and became the All

Around Victorian Champion. Thu went on to

represent Victoria at the Australian

Gymnastics Championships and became the

2016 Level 9 Junior All Around National

Champion. This was a huge achievement

for Thu, who then won another gold and

two silver medals in the Apparatus Finals,

helping the Victorian team to win the team

silver medal. In addition, Thu has been

selected in the Australian Team Future –

a squad comprised of top athletes around

the country who have been identified as able

to win Australia medals at benchmark events

in the future.

Year 9 student Angela Lin also competed in the

Victorian Championships, winning one gold

and two bronze apparatus medals and placed

third All Around in Level 7. Angela was also

selected in the 2016 Victorian State team to

compete at the Australian Championships.

She won a bronze medal in Level 7 for her

hoop routine and placed fifth out of 34 in

the All Around.

Congratulations to all girls on their amazing


Ms Emma Tankovich,

Head Coach Ruyton

Rhythmic Gymnastics

A Season of Firsts

After a best-ever season in 2015, the girls

who row at Ruyton were always going to

have to dig deep to rise to the challenge

for 2016. Our 2015 Senior 1sts crew had

won the ‘triple crown’ for the first time in

the School’s 24-year rowing history. We

won the New South Wales (NSW) State

Championship, the Head of the

Schoolgirls (HOSG) Regatta and the

Australian Championship.

However, this amazing result did not

create fear, uncertainty or the thought of

‘how are we ever going to do that

again?’. In fact, it did the opposite. It

created a motivated team who sought to

strive above and beyond, to believe in

what they were doing, and to set in

stone a winning culture.

What was to follow in 2016 was an

unprecedented season of firsts, not just

for Ruyton, but also for schoolgirl rowing

in Australia.

These firsts included:

- embarking on a winning streak in

Australia from February 2015 to March

2016, with no fewer than 11 different

girls rotating through the Senior firsts

crew to achieve these results

- back-to-back ‘triple crowns’ in 2015

and 2016

- Senior 2nds winning silver at the

NSW State Championships, gold at

HOSG Regatta and placing fourth at the

Australian Championships – our best

result to date

- our Year 10 1sts came second at HOSG

- our Year 10 2nds came first at HOSG

- our Year 9 2nds came second at HOSG

- our Senior 1sts broke the schoolgirl

coxed quad scull record time in the heat

at the Australian Championships by

5 seconds in a time of 7 minutes and

4 seconds

- our Senior 1sts achieved the fastest

prognostic boat speed of any school

crew in any class in the finals at the

Australian Championships (as compiled

by Sykes Racing)

- Ruyton ventured to the Henley Royal

Regatta at Henley on Thames (England)

for the first time in the School’s history,

becoming not only the first Ruyton crew

to be a ‘selected crew’ for the Diamond

Jubilee Challenge Cup, but also the first

ever Australian schoolgirl crew to do so!

Congratulations to Elizabeth (Beth)

Cooper, Helena Mileo, Jean Mitchell and

Emily Montagu.

Beyond the sport itself, rowing teaches

our girls many life skills: time

management, a good work ethic,

concentration, the joys of success and

the harsh realities of disappointment.

Without the support of the Director of

Sport, Mrs Louisa Burbury and the

Principal, Ms Linda Douglas, none of this

would be possible and on behalf of the

girls I sincerely thank them both for

providing these wonderful opportunities

for our girls. We look forward to another

great year of rowing in 2017, when we

celebrate 25 years of rowing at Ruyton.

Mr Matt Wilson,

Director of Rowing

Ruyton Remains Undefeated in all State Cross Country

Competitions since May 2003

Congratulations to Ruyton Girls’ School Rhythmic Gymnasts

To Strive Above and Beyond