FIVE rowers from Westwood College made a big impact on their debut at the 2014 National Schools Regatta, held at the National Water Sports Centre in Holme Pierrepoint.
The regatta was first held in 1947 and has grown into a world-class event entered by clubs and schools from across the UK.
Westwood students Elisabeth de Gale, Liv Tomkinson, Liv Cumisky and Jade Hall, coxed by Nathan Tracy, competed as members of the Rudyard Lake-based North Staffs Rowing Club and raced through to the semi-final of the Hunter Cup for under-14 girls' quad sculls.
The 1,000 metre race attracted an entry of 28 teams and saw the Westwood five among the 18 teams with the fastest times that qualified for the three semi-final heats.
In spite of a very clean performance from the start, the Westwood team were out-rowed by just two metres by Putney High School.
Their 4:01.72 earned the team a very respectable seventh place overall.
A spokesman for the North Staffs Rowing Club said: "This is the very first time the club have participated in this national event and the team should feel very proud of their achievement.
"This has been a good springboard and with more training, we anticipate good results in the upcoming regattas."
Anna Watkins, the 2012 Olympic women's double sculls gold medallist, is a former Westwood student.