Rowing Season Wrap-Up
May 28, 2008
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Kansas rowing completed its 2008 spring season two weekends ago in Oak Ridge, Tenn., at the South-Central Regionals. Kansas placed 18th at that event, but had its best result of the spring two weeks earlier at the Big 12 Invitational where the Jayhawks finished second.<?xml:namespace prefix=”o” ns=”urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office”?>
In addition to the rowing team’s success on the water, one of the biggest accomplishments of the season was the breaking ground on the new $6 million boathouse. The 16,000 square foot Boathouse will provide the University of Kansas Rowing team with a base of operations.
On March 7, Kansas University Chancellor Robert Hemenway, Kansas Athletics Director Lew Perkins, Lawrence City Mayor Sue Hack and Rowing Head Coach Rob Catloth were among the participants that ceremoniously broke ground along the Kansas River.
Following a scrimmage against Tulsa in mid-March, Kansas officially opened its spring season in Austin, Texas on March 29 in a duel against the Texas Longhorns. Texas defeated KU in every race, but the Jayhawks were competitive in every race against the more seasoned Longhorns.
Two weeks following the duel against Texas, KU would battle K-State in the Kansas Cup. Kansas fell to K-State 13-8. The Wildcats took both Varsity Eight races, while the Jayhawks romped in the Novice events. The Kansas Cup also marked Senior Day for four Kansas student-athletes: Alia Bober, Kara Boston, Hailee Jones and Elisheva Patterson.
After facing Big 12 rivals in its first two competitions of the spring, Kansas headed to Oak Ridge, Tenn., for the Southern Intercollegiate Rowing Association regatta. The Jayhawk First Varsity Eight boat placed fourth in the regatta’s premier event. The Varsity Four boat also placed third, while the Second Varsity Eight earned a fourth place finish.
Kansas then fell to the 16th ranked Minnesota Golden Gophers a week later in a duel. Minnesota won all seven races, however, the Jayhawk novice boats battled the Golden Gophers well. The Jayhawk First Novice Eight boat finished 3.7 seconds behind the Minnesota boat in the evening’s closest race. KU’s Second Novice Eight boat also finished a close second to Minnesota, trailing by only 7.7 seconds.
The Jayhawks faced Texas and K-State one week later at the Big 12 Invitational in Austin. Kansas was led by the First Varsity Four boat that placed first in a time of 7:39.0. The First Varsity Four boat edged Texas by just over three seconds to. The Second Novice Eight boat turned in the Jayhawks other victory at the Big 12 Invitational defeating Texas by over 10 seconds. Texas was able to win both the First and Second Varsity Eight Boat races. The Jayhawks finished in third in both Varsity Eight races.
KU wrapped up its 2008 spring season two weeks later over the Melton Hill Lake race course in the South-Central Regionals. Of the 22 team field, Kansas placed 18th with 78 points, just two places behind Kansas State. KU’s Novice Eight boat finished in 11th place, the team’s highest finish.
Next year, Kansas will return both of its varsity coxswain and 12 of 16 rowers from its Varsity boats. In addition to having a high number of returning rowers, its strong novice squad will push for immediate playing time. Look for the rowing team to grow just as quickly as its new boathouse is being constructed.
Please check back with kuathletics.com for all of the latest rowing information over the summer, and for new photos of the boathouse as it nears completion.