Kansas Rowing Tops Kansas State in Dillons Sunflower Showdown

KANSAS CITY, Kan. – For the third time in the past four seasons, Kansas Rowing topped Kansas State to claim the Dillons Sunflower Showdown trophy as the Jayhawks outpaced the Wildcats 17-5 on Saturday morning at Wyandotte County Lake in Kansas City, Kansas.

Kansas won four of the six races on the day, while Kansas State finished first in two. Among the Jayhawks wins were the two highest-scoring races, the 1st Varsity 8 and the 2nd Varsity 8. KU also won the 2nd Varsity 4 and the 3rd Varsity 4.

“The best thing we saw today was some of the growth we saw last weekend starting to show up in the single-race plan,” Kansas coach Carrie Cook-Callen said. “That’s exactly where we need to be. We have a couple of weeks to tune up a little bit more for one more race opportunity to cap the season.”

Kansas opened the morning with a decisive victory in the 2nd Varsity 4, crossing the finish line in a time of 7:42.140, more than 12 seconds ahead of Kansas State and 38 seconds ahead of Creighton. The win earned KU two points and an early 2-0 lead in the Dillons Sunflower Showdown scoring.

The winning ways continued in the 1st Varsity 8, which is the highest-scoring race of the day with nine points available. The Jayhawks extended the lead to 11-0 after two races, finishing with a time of 6:49.548 to top Kansas state by just over four seconds, while Creighton again finished third in 7:02.

Next up was the 2nd Varsity 8, a race worth six points, and the closest of the day. The Jayhawks would again fend off Kansas State, finishing with a time of 7:02.645 that put KU across the finish line ahead of KSU by just over one second, while Creighton finished in a distant third.

“A whole lot of grit and heart had to be put out on the water in order to bring the trophy back home to Lawrence,” senior Mara Evans said. “It was such a special day to share with family and friends as we had our last home race.”

The final race of the day was the 3rd Varsity 4, which only featured boats from Kansas and Creighton. The Jayhawks again topped the Bluejays, finishing with a time of 8:20.141 for a victory of more than 52 seconds.

Following the race, Kansas was presented the Dillons Sunflower Showdown trophy before honoring its senior class. Seniors who participated were Hannah Black, Cam Boyd, Courtney Costain, Alex Daley, Laine Draper, Mara Evans, Emma Steiner, Simona Vaitkune, Liz Weber and manager Taylor Ross.

Dillons Sunflower Showdown Scoring
1V8 – Kansas 9
2V8 – Kansas 6
1V4 – Kansas State 3
2V4 – Kansas 2
3V8 – Kansas State 2

Final Score: Kansas 17, Kansas State 5

With regular season competition concluded, Kansas turns its attention to the postseason, which begins with the Big 12 Championship on Sunday, May 19, in Sarasota, Florida.