Kansas concludes season at Big 12 Rowing Championship

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OAK RIDGE, Tenn. – The University of Kansas rowing team concluded its 2016-17 season with a fourth-place team finish in the Big 12 Championship on Sunday at Melton Hill Lake in Oak Ridge, Tennessee.

“I’m really proud of the team,” Kansas head coach Rob Catloth said. “The women on this team rowed their hearts out for Kansas and for their teammates. As Jayhawks, they performed. We finished not quite where we wanted to be but the conference is getting faster and we are getting faster, too. It’s tough in the transition to push to the top, but our team has worked hard. I’m really proud of what we have accomplished throughout this year.”

Coach Catloth’s comments after the conclusion of the #Big12ROW Championship pic.twitter.com/Jpc9JQwHee

— Kansas Rowing (@KU_Rowing) May 14, 2017

KU’s top boat, the First Varsity Eight, finished sixth in the Grand Final with a time of 6:45.203. The Jayhawks’ 1V8 time is the program’s fastest at Melton Hill Lake in the three years it has hosted the Big 12 Championship.

“We went in knowing it was going to be a tough race,” 1V8 senior coxswain Mallory Miller said. “There is not a slow crew in 1V8 (of the Big 12). We were prepared, we were ready. We knew we had the speed. All we asked of each other was to give it our all – not just for the seniors but as a boat. When we crossed that line, we truly felt like we gave every ounce of our power and every ounce of our heart.”

“We gave every ounce of our power and every ounce of our heart.”
-1V8 coxswain Mallory Miller #Big12ROW pic.twitter.com/2HeIOzNisa

— Kansas Rowing (@KU_Rowing) May 14, 2017

During the post-race awards ceremony, First Varsity Eight junior rower Kaelyn Theirolf was named to the All-Big 12 Team for the second-straight season.

“Kaelyn is the whole package,” Catloth boasted. “She is a great rower. She is a 4.0 student and a model representative of the University of Kansas. I couldn’t be more proud of the consistent effort she brings every day.”

KU’s Second Varsity Eight crossed the finish line in fifth place with a 6:52.598 in its Grand Final competition.

“Honestly, I don’t think we could have went any harder – that effort was everything we had,” 2V8 senior coxswain Kenzie Obrochta said. “We hope we could have been on the grand stand for the award ceremony, but there was absolutely nothing left that we could have gave. We are so beyond happy with what we gave and how we ended the season. I’ve had four amazing years and it ended on a high note.”

Coxswain Kenzie Obrochta and 2V8 gave everything they had #Big12ROW pic.twitter.com/C8gZdcioC6

— Kansas Rowing (@KU_Rowing) May 14, 2017

In the First Varsity Four race, all six boats in the Grand Final crossed the finish line within 30 seconds of each other. KU’s boat placed fifth with a time of 7:23.889, edging sixth-place K-State.

“It was a very fun race – to race with seniors in their last race of their career is an amazing feeling,” 1V4 junior coxswain Bailey Coolidge said. “We had probably one of the tightest races (of the day), with just seconds between boat one and boat six. It was so fun to be in. Our boat gave it their all – I’ve never seen a crew more dead at the end (from giving a maximum effort).”

Coxswain Bailey Coolidge breaks down a competitive 1V4 race #Big12ROW pic.twitter.com/sagsz7YygO

— Kansas Rowing (@KU_Rowing) May 14, 2017

Kansas out-paced Tennessee and West Virginia for a fifth-place finish in the Second Varsity Four competition, crossing the finish line with a 7:38.010 time.

“I’m very, very proud of my Second Four,” 2V4 sophomore coxswain Katie McWhirter said. “I thought they laid it out on the line today. The last two weeks we have really been working on our sprint and they really brought effort towards that today. We had a really high stroke rate. It was a great wrap-up to our season.”

Coxswain Katie McWhirter explains how her 2V4 put it all on the line during today’s race #Big12ROW pic.twitter.com/w8YvuTscSb

— Kansas Rowing (@KU_Rowing) May 14, 2017

Perhaps the most exciting finish of the day was KU’s Third Varsity Eight overcoming a deficit to pass Tennessee for fifth place in its Grand Final competition. The Jayhawks’ 3V8 found themselves down by nearly a boat length during the race, but finished just ahead of the Volunteers by two-tenths of a second.

“Tennessee was up by a lot in the beginning of the race,” 3V8 sophomore coxswain Abigale Lane said. “I saw them start to drop back, and I said ‘this is our opportunity, we have to go.’ It was a special race – it will hold a special place in my heart forever. They put it all on the race course. They had nothing left when they crossed the finish line and that’s all I can ask for as a coxswain.”

3V8 coxswain Abigale Lane breaks down her boat’s final race of the season, an exciting photo-finish over Tennessee for 5th-place #Big12ROW pic.twitter.com/RBGolZ30m1

— Kansas Rowing (@KU_Rowing) May 14, 2017

Texas earned the Big 12’s automatic bid to the NCAA Championship with a first-place finish in the team point standings.

With the conclusion of the season, Kansas says farewell to a formative senior class of 11 rowers and two coxswains while looking ahead to a bright future.

“All of our seniors have done their part to really develop a team-first atmosphere and that has really helped as we have made progress through the last four years,” Catloth concluded. “This year we have run some of the fastest times in the history of the program. Even though we have a large senior class, we still have a good nucleus of women to work with next year. We are going to continue to get better and that’s exciting for the future moving forward.”

Thank you, seniors! #KUgrads #Big12ROW pic.twitter.com/OgD7JIoXkN

— Kansas Rowing (@KU_Rowing) May 14, 2017


Automatic Qualifying Scores
1. Texas – 48
2. Oklahoma – 41
3. Tennessee – 35
4. Alabama – 28
5. K-State – 25
6. KANSAS – 21
7. Old Dominion – 9
7. West Virginia – 9

Big 12 Team Scores
1. Texas – 137
2. Oklahoma – 113
3. K-State – 92
4. KANSAS – 74
5. West Virginia – 49


Big 12 Rowing Championship – Day 2, Grand Finals

First Varsity Eight
Grand Final
1. Texas – 6:14.497
2. Oklahoma – 6:26.997
3. Tennessee – 6:31.990
4. Alabama – 6:42.057
5. Kansas State – 6:42.883
6. KANSAS – 6:45.203

Second Varsity Eight
Grand Final
1. Texas – 6:27.445
2. Oklahoma – 6:32.663
3. Tennessee – 6:34.947
4. Kansas State – 6:45.478
5. KANSAS – 6:52.598
6. Alabama – 6:57.389

First Varsity Four
Grand Final
1. Texas – 7:06.038
2. Alabama – 7:13.496
3. Oklahoma – 7:14.829
4. Tennessee – 7:16.409
5. KANSAS – 7:23.889
6. Kansas State – 7:32.278

Second Varsity Four
Grand Final
1. Texas – 7:11.717
2. Oklahoma – 7:17.957
3. Alabama – 7:28.153
4. Kansas State – 7:34.188
5. KANSAS – 7:38.01
6. Tennessee – 7:42.377
7. West Virginia – 7:46.677

Third Varsity Eight
Grand Final
1. Texas – 6:34.936
2. Alabama – 6:49.512
3. Kansas State – 6:49.716
4. Oklahoma – 6:50.987
5. KANSAS – 7:02.474
6. Tennessee – 7:02.614


First Eight
Coxswain: Mallory Miller
McKayla Ross
BriAnna Dittberner
Katherine Young
Maddie Irelan
Kaelyn Thierolf
Meghan Karoly
Jordan Helms
Peyton Anderson

Second Eight
Coxswain: Kenzie Obrochta
Kayla Stubblefield
Lilly Stewart
Angie Allen
Allison Schaaf
Reese Arnold
Kylee Dewey
Bailey Blood
Morgan Kottas

First Four
Coxswain: Bailey Coolidge
Margret Winter
Lexie Lanphere
Emily Ruble
Brittney Railsback

Second Four
Coxswain: Katie McWhirter
Aminah Reid-Brydon
Kalyn Blessing
Mackenzie Klaver
Madison Wedderspoon

Third Eight
Coxswain: Abigale Lane
Bailey Brandon
Kristen Underhill
Caitlin McNulty
Valerie Swisher
Isabel Horosz
Madison Ruffalo
Kaitlyn Finger
Madison Hovis

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