Jayhawks Head to Conference USA Rowing Championships

May 15, 2013

LAWRENCE, Kan. – The Kansas rowers will compete in their second championship event of the season as the squad participates in the Conference USA Championships on Saturday. On May 4, Kansas finished third at the Big 12 Championships. Kansas is joined in Conference USA by Kansas State, Texas, Oklahoma, West Virginia, Alabama, Tennessee, SMU, Old Dominion, Tulsa and Central Florida.

The winner of the team title receives an automatic bid to the NCAA Championships. In 2012, the Jayhawks finished eighth in the overall standings and won the conference title in the Varsity Four. Senior Emily Starr will once again row in the Varsity Four boat for KU and will attempt to defend the title. Tennessee is the defending champion in the team competition.

“Basically three conferences combine in this group for the automatic qualifier, so there is a lot riding on this race,” said KU head coach Rob Catloth. “This is the first year that the NCAA is going with automatic qualifiers. So for us, our goal is to be fighting for the automatic qualifier spot.”

On Saturday morning the teams will be split into two heats with the top-three finishers advancing to the Grand Final. The remaining competitors from each heat will race in the Petite Final. Teams will compete in Open Four and Novice Eight, which will not be scored for the purposes of determining the team champion. The events that will be scored are First and Second Varsity Eight and Varsity Four. The finals in each event will take place Saturday afternoon.

“There are not too many races that use the heat layout and we had good success at the Knecht Cup in this format,” said Catloth. “The team is really good at setting goals and keeping focused. Their first goal is to qualify for the Grand Final and then get as high of placing as possible in the final.”

The NCAA awards 11 automatic bids and 11 at-large bids to the NCAA Championships. The at-large bids will be announced on Tuesday, May 21.

TEAM POINTS AWARDED First Varsity Eight Second Varsity Eight Varsity Four
1st Place 33 22 11
2nd Place 30 20 10
3rd Place 27 18 9
4th Place 24 16 8
5th Place 21 14 7
6th Place 18 12 6
7th Place 15 10 5
8th Place 12 8 4
9th Place 9 6 3
10th Place 6 4 2
11th Place 3 2