Jayhawk Rowers Take Fourth in Conference USA Championships

May 18, 2013

LAWRENCE, Kan. – Eleven teams competed in the Conference USA Rowing Championships on Saturday, and only four schools qualified for the Grand Final in each event. The Kansas Jayhawks were one of them. Kansas joined Tennessee, Oklahoma, and Texas in the Grand Final in each of the five events and finished fourth in the team standings. Kansas senior Olivia Kinet was named to the All-Conference USA team.

The First Varsity Eight, Second Varsity Eight and Varsity Four were used to determine the team champions. Oklahoma won the team title and earned the automatic bid to the NCAA Championships. It will be the Sooners’ first trip to the NCAA Championships.

“The last couple years we have been recruiting hard and we are trying to get to the point where we can compete with those top-three teams,” said KU head coach Rob Catloth. “We are in the ballpark of where we want to be and where we are trying to take the program to.”

The regatta started with qualifying races in the morning session. Each event consisted of two qualifying heats with the top-three finishers in each race qualifying for the Grand Final. The first teams to hit the water were the First Varsity Eight squads. Kansas rowed in the first heat and finished in second place with a time of 6:48.67.

The Kansas Second Varsity Eight finished second in their heat as well with a time of 6:52.35 – the third best time in the 2V8 heats. Kansas next qualified for the Grand Final in Varsity Four by finishing third in the heat.

The non-scoring events were the Novice Eight and Open Four. Kansas won its Novice Eight heat in a time of 7:05. The Jayhawks defeated both Texas and Tennessee in the heat. Kansas had two boats participate in the Open Four with both crews qualifying for the Grand Final. Kansas ‘A’ won its heat with a time of 7:43.50, while Kansas ‘B’ finished third in the second heat with a time of 7:44.49.

“One of our goals at the start of the year was to get all three scoring boats in the Grand Final and we surpassed that by getting all six boats in,” said KU Catloth. “We came back in the afternoon and competed really well. Your goal is to compete at the highest level at the end of the year championship and we were right there.”

The afternoon session opened with the Open Four, where Kansas finished third and fifth. Oklahoma won the event with a time of 7:33.30.

The Varsity Four marked the Jayhawks’ first scoring event to hold a Grand Final. Kansas finished fourth in the race with Oklahoma taking the conference title. The Jayhawks also finished fourth in the Varsity Four in the Big 12 Championships two weeks ago.

In the Second Varsity Eight Grand Final, Kansas came in third with a time of 6:55.29. Oklahoma won its third Grand Final with a time of 6:45.81. The final scoring event was the First Varsity Eight. Kansas finished fourth in the race and Texas claimed first. The Jayhawks 1V8 improved after finishing fifth at the Big 12 Championships.

“There are some young kids on that 1V8 so it’s a young boat,” said Catloth. “It took some time for them to find themselves this year. We identified things they needed to work on every week. We came back after Big 12’s and analyzed what we needed to do and they bought in. We always felt they had the ability, but it was a process to get to this point.”

Oklahoma will join 10 other automatic qualifiers at the NCAA Championships May 30-June 3. The NCAA will announce 11 at-large teams on Tuesday.

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Final Team Standings
Oklahoma 63
Tennessee 57
Texas 56
Kansas 50
Kansas State 37
West Virginia 36
Old Dominion 27
UCF 25
Tulsa 21
Alabama 14
SMU 10

Kansas Boatings
First Varsity Eight
Coxswain Olivia Catloth
Caity Decker
Olivia Kinet
Alex Torquemada
Liz Scherer
Maggie Duncan
Brooke Thuston
Katy Evans
Laura Benz

Second Varsity Eight
Coxswain Caty Clements
Julia Alvey
Cheyenne Verdoorn
Claudi Lever
Erin Brogan
Jennifer Hartzler
Amanda Lewis
Danielle Adam
Jade Lambkins

Varsity Four
Coxswain Katy MacCormack
Emily Starr
Emma Umbarger
Jessica Miller
Kaylee Sextro

Open Four A
Coxswain Sarah Lasini
Andrea Joyce
Eileen Gallagher
Angie Flores
Carley Iverson

Open Four B
Coxswain Abbey Lozenski
Allie Griffin
Meghan Cahill
Ashlyn Midyett
Kelsie Fiss

Novice Eight
Coxswain Mary Slattery
Jessie Jacob
Jessica Scheer
Breeona Foster
Stephanie Walker
Lauren Miller
Tess Scott
Jackie Adamle
Clarissa Holt Bates