Kansas' Novice Squad Has Strong Weekend at Louisville Invite

March 18, 2012

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OAK RIDGE, Tenn. – For the second-straight regatta, the Kansas rowing novice eight was once again the highlight of the weekend at the Louisville Invite as the novice boats picked up victories against some of the top teams in the country.

The Jayhawks faced off against several of the NCAA’s top teams that included Virginia, Duke, Tennessee, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Notre Dame. Kansas head coach Rob Catloth said he knew how tough this weekend was going to be.

“We went in knowing we had a big challenge with Virginia being there and being the preseason No. 1 team and Tennessee and Duke also being in the preseason top 20,” Catloth said.

On Saturday, the novice eight boat consisting of Hannah Silverthorne, Kate Lygrisse, Leah Roy, Lexa Fowlkes, Jade Lambkins, Kellyn Angell, Meghan Cahill, Julia Alvey and coxswain Nicole Balmaceda beat Buffalo and Tennessee with a time of 7:10.10.

The novice eight crew was then able to kick off the afternoon session with a win over Notre Dame and Buffalo in a time of 6:58.00.

“I think our young kids are rowing really well and improving,” Catloth said. “They are doing exactly what we need them to do. To grow the program we need our freshmen to be able to compete with other fast freshmen and novice around the country.”

KU finished in the top two in only two other races to finish competition on Saturday. The second varsity eight (Kathryn Schoonover, Emily Starr, Paige Stephens, Jessica Miller, Amanda Lewis, Eileen Gallagher, Angie Flores, Katie Hayes and coxswain Olivia Catloth) finished right behind Minnesota with a time of 6:54.56.

Then it was the novice eight with another solid performance as they finished second with a time of 7:01.028. The novice eight was made up of Nicole Otey, Jenni Hartzler, Kaylee Sextro, Claudijah Lever, Brooke Thuston, Andrea Joyce, Laura Benz, Allie Griffin and coxswain Sarah Lasini.

The novice eight boats completed the weekend on Sunday with two second-place finishes. KU came up short against Virginia, while narrowly missing out on a first-place finish to Alabama.

Overall, the novice eight finished second or better in every race for the weekend.

The lone varsity win came on Sunday as the varsity four beat Alabama and Louisville with a time of 7:35.90. Emma Umbarger, Cara Murray, Cheyenne Verdoorn, Ashlyn Midyett, and coxswain Caty Clements delivered the win for the varsity squad.

“Times are already 15 seconds faster than they were last year,” Catloth explained. “I think we’re making some good improvements this early in the year. We’re excited to go into spring training and get some two-a-days in because we feel that will really help.”

The Kansas rowing team will now head to Clemson, S.C., for a week full of two-a-day practices to get ready for the heart of the season.

“I think when you are doing two-a-days you almost gain a month’s worth of improvement at home in that one week,” the 17-year head coach said. “We’re just going to eat, sleep and row. Going into spring training with already seven or eight races under our belt is really going to help us.”

Kansas is then back in action March 24 when the Jayhawks compete against the Clemson Tigers in a dual in Clemson, S.C.

Saturday morning
Novice eight-
1. KU – 7:10.10
2. Buffalo – 7:14.12
3. Tennessee – 7:17.73

Second varsity four
1. Minnesota – 7:42.00
2. Buffalo – 7:48.84
3. KU – 7:52.38

Second varsity eight
1. Minnesota – 6:42.00
2. KU – 6:54.56
3. Buffalo – 7:07.45

Varsity four
1. Minnesota – 7:17.30
2. Buffalo – 7:31.30
3. KU – 7:33.05

Varsity eight
1. Minnesota – 6:30.20
2. Buffalo – 6:41.23
3. KU – 6:45.53

Novice eight
1. Virginia – 6:48.20
2. KU – 7:01.028
3. Tennessee – 7:06.825

Saturday afternoon
Novice eight
1. KU – 6:58.00
2. Notre Dame – 7:00.172
3. Buffalo – 7:44.906

Second varsity four
1. Minnesota – 7:23.50
2. Notre Dame – 7:32.828
3. KU – 7:48.875

Second varsity eight
1.Notre Dame – 6:33.0
2.Minnesota – N/A
3.KU – N/A

Varsity four
1.Minnesota – 7:13.20
2.Notre Dame – 7:27.481
3.KU – 7:33.762

Varsity eight
1. Notre Dame – 6:25.90
2. Minnesota – 6:28.307
3. KU – 6:47.713

Novice eight
1.Virginia – 6:36.80
2.KU – 6:48.581
3.Duke – 6:54.815

Novice eight
1.Alabama – 7:03.00
2.KU – 7:05.953
3.Louisville – 7:15.343

Second varsity four
1.Notre Dame – 7:32.40
2.KU – 7:39.603

Varsity four
1.KU – 7:35.90
2.Alabama – 7:40.775
3.Louisville – 7:53.541

Varsity eight
1.Louisville – 6:26.20
2.Alabama – 6:44.513
3.KU – 6:45.653