Jayhawks Look to Carry Over Confidence at Louisville Invite

March 15, 2012

2012 Louisville Invite
Melton Lake // Oak Ridge, Tenn.
Senior Melanie Luthi looks to help lead her team to a win in Oak Ridge as the Jayhawks compete against top 20 teams.
C-USA Alabama
C-USA Tennessee
ACC Duke
ACC Virginia
A-10 Dayton
Big 10 Minnesota
Big 10 Wisconsin
Big East Notre Dame
Big East Louisville (Host)
CAA Buffalo
MAAC Jacksonville

LAWRENCE, Kan. – Coming off a sweep of Creighton on the final day at the Oklahoma Invite last weekend, the University of Kansas rowing team will look to build off that performance March 17-18 at the Louisville Invite in Oak Ridge, Tenn.

The Jayhawks won five of six races on the final day in Oklahoma City as KU finished sixth overall in bracket competition.

“I think we had a good start to the year,” Kansas head coach Catloth explained. “Everybody was racing the way we wanted them to, so now it’s just progressing as we go through the season. We had a lot more wins than we had last year, so I think that should be a confidence builder.”

The first two days of racing were highlighted by the novice squads as they recorded victories over Oklahoma and Creighton in both the novice eight and second novice eight. In all, KU brought home 11 victories (varsity and novice combined) from the entire weekend.

Catloth was excited about the novice squad’s performance, but said it’s something that shouldn’t come as a surprise.

“I think our novice has always rowed strong,” he explained. “We just need to continue to build it. That’s our feeder system to our program. Every year we need them to go out and be successful. Right now it looks like they are on their way to doing that, so we just need them to keep improving.”

Even though the Jayhawks finished sixth in Oklahoma City, KU was able to compete in all races entered, which is something that didn’t happen at last year’s invite. Specifically, competing against Big 12 and Conference USA foes Kansas State and Tulsa.

“I think it gives them a lot of confidence,” Catloth said. “I think it gives them even more confidence knowing how close they were to K-State and Tulsa, who were a bit ahead of them last year. They are feeling like it was a good stepping stone or springboard into the season.”

This weekend’s Louisville Invite will pit the Jayhawks against their toughest competition to date as there looks to be several top-25 teams in Oak Ridge. The Jayhawks will be joined by Duke, Minnesota, Notre Dame, Tennessee and Virginia who are all ranked in the top 20 or receiving votes.

“There’s going to be a lot of tough competition this weekend,” said the 16-year head coach. “Of the 12 teams that are going to be there, there will probably be two or three top-10 teams. These first two regattas are preseason-type races, so we’re still working on boat selection and the maturation of our young rowers. Since the team is so young, we’re still trying to get them to race their own race and be competitive, so that is what we’re trying to achieve right now.”

Catloth hopes after this weekend he will have a better sense of who he wants in each boat.

From Oak Ridge, Tenn., the Jayhawks head straight to Clemson, S.C., for spring training before a dual with the Clemson Tigers, March 24.