RCW: Sport Spotlight 4.30 (Rowing)
A post shared by Kansas Rowing (@kansasrowing) on Apr 7, 2018 at 3:04pm PDT
— Kansas Rowing (@KU_Rowing) April 7, 2018
The Big 12 Double Dual marked the first competition of the 2018 season and the first victory for the Second Varsity Four. The winning boat, Wakarusa, outraced the Tennessee Volunteers by a close margin of two seconds for first with a time of 7:43.900.
Freshman coxswain Liana Ochoa, sophomore Kalyn Blessing, freshman Katie Donnellan, freshman Maggie Dupuie and junior Ally Fullerton led the Wakarusa to KU’s lone first-place finish against Alabama and Tennessee this past weekend.
The goal for the Second Varsity Four at the Double Dual was to row to their full potential by taking everything they had worked on during the weeks leading up to the season and the two scrimmages in early March.
“For not having a great practice leading up to the race, everyone in the boat definitely showed up and got the job done,” assistant coach Kelsey Arnold said.
For its first 2000-meter race of the year, the Wakarusa had to work for every meter to climb back into the race. Tennessee got off to a quick start and claimed the lead during the first half of the race, but that didn’t keep the Jayhawks from keeping up the momentum to get them back into the race.
“We kept inching our way up to their four seat, then their three seat and as soon as I could see their coxswain, I knew we could get it done,” said Ochoa.
As Kansas entered the final 750 meters and came up on the fans cheering from shore, the Wakarusa made its move into the lead. A quick sprint pushed KU past the Volunteers in the last stretch of the race to claim victory.
The Jayhawks will look to take this win with them as they go throughout the season, knowing that they are never out of a race and to keep fighting until the finish line.
Kansas will be on the road this week for the Knecht Cup April 14-15 in Windsor, New Jersey, where the Jayhawks took home three medals during their last visit in 2016.