KU Rowing Returns 33; Adds Group of Talented Newcomers

Sept. 20, 2012

LAWRENCE, Kan. – Fans and coaches of the Kansas Rowing team have many reasons to be optimistic as fall practices begin in anticipation of the first regatta. The Jayhawks return 33 athletes from the 2011-12 season and add a transfer who should contribute on the varsity level this season.

Top returners include senior Emily Starr who was a member of the Big 12 Champion Varsity Four boat last season. Starr and the Varsity Four also won the Conference USA Championship as well as the Knecht Cup last spring.

“Those guys on the four set the tone and showed the rest of the team we could win a Big 12 Championship. It was good for the rest of the team to see our boat be that successful,” Head Coach Rob Catloth said.

Senior Olivia Kinet also returns to the water this season. Kinet was named to both the All-Big 12 and All-Conference USA First Team last year as she spent the year on KU’s first Varsity Eight squad, which won the Head of Oklahoma last fall. Another returning member of the Varsity Eight winning squad is sophomore Erin Brogan. Brogan was named KU Rowing’s Outstanding Newcomer last season and was chosen as one of just 24 rowers from around the country to attend the US Rowing National Team Freshman Camp over the summer.

Additional returners who will look to build off of last season’s success include seniors Olivia Catloth, Eileen Gallagher, Cheyenne Verdoorn and Katy Evans and juniors Jessica Miller, Amanda Lewis and Caity Decker. Sophomore Angie Flores is also expected to contribute.

One transfer that will see time in varsity boats this season is junior Alexandra Torquemada. Torquernada is transferring from Humboldt State University (Calif.). At HSU, she was a member of the 2012 NCAA Division II Varsity Eight National Championship boat. Her Varsity Eight boat also won at the Northwest Collegiate Rowing Conference Invite and placed second at the Western Intercollegiate Rowing Association Regatta last season. In 2011, Torquernada’s Varsity Eight boat took third place at the NCAA Division II Championships.

Another newcomer who is expected to play a role on varsity this year is freshman Maggie Duncan. Duncan hails from Toronto, Canada where she was named her club team’s Junior Oarswoman of the Year.

A group of 25 newcomers will compete on the novice team for the Jayhawks this year. Novice rowers are eligible to compete against novice rowers from other schools during their first year of competition before they move to varsity for their sophomore season.

Catloth, who is entering his 17th season at the helm of the Jayhawk program, is looking forward to seeing his squad develop in the fall and be ready to compete for conference championships in the spring.

“Two of our goals are to finish in the top group at the Big 12 and Conference USA Championships. We have had a couple successful novice groups and now those guys are mature and we need to step up and work our way to the top of our conference,” he said.

The fall season for KU rowing begins at the Head of Oklahoma regatta, held Sept. 28-30 in Oklahoma City, Okla.