Kansas Brings Home Gold in Varsity Four and Second Varsity Four Races

April 15, 2012

CHERRY HILL, N.J. – Kansas rowing had its best weekend of the season by far in the Knecht Cup on Saturday and Sunday, as the Jayhawks brought home wins in the grand final by the first and second varsity four, as well as a third and fourth place finish by the novice eight and second varsity eight, respectively.

Kansas was represented in the grand final in four different events on Sunday after a day of heat and semifinal racing on Saturday.

Kicking off the morning on Sunday, KU finished first in the final of the second varsity four race with a time of 7:53.12. Junior Emma Umbarger and sophomores Ashlyn Midyett, Cara Murray, Meghan Cahill and coxswain Abbey Lozenski brought home the first place finish.

The Jayhawks then received their second win in as many events, as the varsity four won the grand final with a time of 7:31.11. The varsity four team (seniors Paige Stephens, Kathryn Schoonover and coxswain Lindsey Bricklemyer and juniors Ashleigh Allam and Emily Starr) beat out UMass, Philadelphia, Penn State, Villanova and Old Dominion.

In the afternoon session on Sunday, the novice eight finished third with a time of 7:06.88. Nicole Otey, Jenni Hartzler, Jade Lambkins, Andrea Joyce, Kaylee Sextro, Julia Alvey, Laura Benz, Allie Griffin and coxswain Sarah Lasini made up the novice eight squad. Drexel was just able to edge out the Jayhawks for second place with a time of 7:06.58, while Wisconsin won the race in 7:01.10.

To finish off the weekend of racing for KU, the second varsity eight finished fourth in the grand final with a time of 6:50.52. The top four teams were all within five seconds of each other as Bucknell won the event followed by Duke and Boston College.

Four of KU’s six entries competed in heat races of six boats Saturday morning trying to post times fast enough to advance to the semifinals.

To begin the day of racing on Saturday, the varsity four boat of Stephens, Allam, Starr, Schoonover and coxswain Bricklemyer won their heat with a time of 7:47.29. The next closest team was Penn State with a time of 8:06.94.

The second varsity eight then advanced to the semifinals with a second-place finish in its heat with a time of 7:04.48, which was just two seconds after the Wisconsin boat crossed the finish. KU’s second varsity eight was made up of Angela Mings, Katy Evans, Caity Decker, Jessica Miller, Amanda Lewis, Danielle Adam, Cheyenne Verdoorn, Eileen Gallagher and coxswain Caty Clements.

Otey, Hartzler, Lambkins, Joyce, Sextro, Alvey, Benz, Griffin and coxswain Lasini propelled the novice eight to a win in their heat with a time of 7:04.94, advancing the Jayhawks to the semifinals.

In the semifinal races, the varsity four won its semifinal race with a time of 7:38.97 to advance to the grand final on Sunday. KU’s second varsity four then won its semifinal race with a time of 7:44.56 to advance to the final.

In the second varsity eight race, Kansas finished second with a time of 6:56.46, which was good enough to advance the Jayhawks to the grand final. The Jayhawks would then get one more boat into a grand final, as the novice eight finished first with a time of 7:12.80. In all, Kansas sent four boats to the grand final.

Upon returning from a successful trip to New Jersey, Kansas will have a weekend off from competition before traveling to Oklahoma City, Okla. for the Big 12 Championship on April 28.