Kansas rowing begins spring season at Oak Ridge Cardinal Invite

Venue: Melton Lake Rowing Venue

LAWRENCE, Kan. – The University of Kansas rowing team begins its 2017 spring schedule this weekend at the sixth annual Cardinal Invite in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, on the Melton Lake Rowing Venue.

The Cardinal Invite is regarded as one of the top spring regattas in the nation. Kansas will be racing on the 2,000-meter course at Melton Lake against Clemson, Louisville, Miami, Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Notre Dame, Tennessee, Tulsa, Virginia and West Virginia.

“Our team is really looking forward to this weekend,” senior rower Maddie Irelan said. “In rowing, you have to train for months on end without any competition. So, when it’s finally time to race we are extremely excited and ready to go. This sport is about racing and when it’s go time, we are ready.”

The two-day event, hosted by Louisville, will kick off on Saturday with races in the morning and afternoon. The final races will take place Sunday morning.

“The Cardinal Invite is always an extremely competitive race,” Irelan said. “There are some really solid teams there, even some top-20 teams. It’s a good gauge for us to see how our training is going and what improvements we need to make going into the rest of our season. I’m sure this weekend will have tight, exciting races.”

Real-time results for the event will be provided through the Kansas rowing Twitter account (@KU_Rowing) while final results at the end of each day will be published on herenow.com and KUAthletics.com.


How did you get started in rowing and what made you fall in love with your sport? 
“I started rowing as a freshman in high school. No other sport that I participated in made me feel the way rowing did. It pushed me in ways that I didn’t even know possible. One thing about rowing is that it always asks more of you, always challenges you to push harder and dig deeper than you thought possible. And the feeling of crossing the finish line knowing that your crew, the eight other girls in that boat, worked as hard as possible together to get you there.”

What were your thoughts on this being your last season opener? 
“It’s hard to believe how fast the past three years have gone by. This being the final first regatta is exciting, but also makes me feel a little sentimental. I have one more season on this team, one more season with my teammates. While that is sad, it also makes me excited to see how this final season turns out. Our group of seniors is a strong class and we hope to make strides in our last season here.”

What is one of your favorite road trip memories at Kansas? 
“It’s hard to think of just one memory that stands out. Traveling with the team is so fun for us because it’s a time when we aren’t at practice or worrying about school and we just get to spend time together. We always share lots of laughs and enjoy just being together. That’s definitely something I’ll miss when I graduate.”

What does being a member of the Kansas Rowing team mean to you? 
“Being a member of KU rowing is such an honor. I feel so lucky to have this opportunity and so grateful for all the people who have made my experience amazing. Being a Jayhawk means being a part of something that’s bigger than yourself and putting yourself on the line for your school and your teammates every chance you get.”

Kansas continues its spring schedule with a visit to Bloomington, Indiana, in a duel against the Hoosiers on Lake Lemon, Saturday, April 1.


KUAthletics.com: The official online source for Kansas Athletics, Williams Education Fund contributions, tickets, merchandise, multimedia, photos and much, much more.