Jayhawks Navigate Lake Wheeler Invitational

RALEIGH, N.C. – The Kansas Rowing team performed admirably, competing against 18 teams at the 2024 Lake Wheeler Invitational and earning five points over the two-day regatta. The event took place on Lake Wheeler in Raleigh, North Carolina, on Friday-Saturday, April 26-27.

“This weekend provided our team with multiple tests of our race plan and technical execution, Kansas Coach Carrie Cook-Callen said following the event. “Against a fast field of competition, the team made some really good improvements from race-to-race, showed some grit and passion for racing. With only two races left, we’re needing to pool the improvements we made in North Carolina and apply them to single race opportunities.”

Over the two days, the Jayhawks competed with four boats: the 1V8, 2V8, 3V8, and 2V4. The first boat to race was the 3V8.

Day one of racing concluded with an exciting competition with the varsity eight boat. The team delivered a solid performance, outpacing Iowa and UNC, a pair of teams well-represented in the CRCA poll this season. 

 For the Jayhawks, finishing ahead of Iowa was a significant accomplishment. The 1V8 had competed against Iowa multiple times during the spring season,

The 3V8 boat took third place in round 1, outperforming teams from Miami, Boston College, and North Carolina. They followed this up with a second-place finish in Round 3, making last-minute lineup changes to knock out Navy and Louisville.

Another admirable performance came from the 1V4, finishing third in round 3, just 0.1 seconds shy of second place. Along the way, the Jayhawks defeated teams from Tulsa, Boston College, and Louisville.

The 2V4 boat had a close race in round 2, beating Tulsa by 2.3 seconds. They posted a faster time than Navy and Washington State in the second round. On the second day of racing, they were able to surpass Clemson by 0.9 seconds.

Following another strong performance by the Jayhawks, the 2V8 boat also had a thrilling finish in round three. Coming in just 0.8 seconds behind Navy and beating out Boston College by 0.5 seconds

“This weekend was a good step in the right direction,” junior Emma Wistuba said. “It showed that we are constantly making improvements to gain speed and leaving everything we have out on the water.”

Overall, the Jayhawks showed great determination and skill, making their mark in each race.

Next up, Kansas will return home for its final regular-season event. The team will compete in the Dillions Sunflower Showdown on Saturday, May 4, at Wyandotte County Lake in Kansas City, Kansas, and honor ten seniors in a celebration following the races.