RCW: Sport Spotlight 4.36 (Rowing)
Wave the wheat ???? pic.twitter.com/f5bAAVboS9
— Kansas Rowing (@KU_Rowing) May 23, 2018
A post shared by Kansas Rowing (@kansasrowing) on Jan 6, 2018 at 6:36pm PST
2017-18 Season Highlights
- A new era of Kansas rowing began in 2017-18 after Carrie Cook-Callen became the interim head coach of the Jayhawks.
- The Jayhawks hosted three home regattas this past season, giving fans more opportunities to see Kansas rowing in action. KU opened the season with the fifth annual Jayhawk Jamboree, where the Jayhawks brought hundreds of fans to the shore of the Kansas River to enjoy 10 races, men’s and women’s eight 300m sprints, along with food and entertainment between events.
- As the ice began to cover the Kansas River, the Jayhawks headed south to find warmer waters. KU spent nine days training and bonding as a team in Florida before the spring semester started.
- The first regatta of the year was highlighted by a first-place finish by KU’s Second Varsity Four against the Volunteers. In a close race that came down to the final sprint, Kansas edged the Vols by two seconds with a time of a 7:43.9.
- Next, the Jayhawks hit the road for two weeks in a row, starting with the Knecht Cup in Windsor, New Jersey. Three of Kansas’ five boats qualified for the top finals after impressive qualifying heat performances at the Knecht Cup.
- For the second-straight week, KU’s Second Varsity Four brought home the top finish for the Jayhawks. The Wakarusa took home a silver medal, crossing the finish line with a time of 7:43.21, in what was a near photo finish behind Temple.
- All five of Kansas’ boats qualified for the top finals after sweeping the entire field during the qualifying heats of the George Mason Invite. The Jayhawks’ First Varsity Eight and Second Varsity Four brought home gold medals to lead the Big 12 Conference to victory over the Atlantic 10 Conference and the Colonial Athletic Association for the second year in a row.
- The First Varsity Eight started the day off strong with a first-place finish in its qualifying heat at the George Mason Invite. Wave the Wheat crossed the finish line in 6:34.8, finishing 12 seconds in front of the runner-up, Old Dominion. Advancing to the finals, Wave the Wheat cut nine seconds off of its previous time to take gold in the finals with a time of 6:25.7, one of the fastest times in program history not aided by current or flow.
- Continuing with its winning ways, the Second Varsity Four advanced to the top final of the George Mason Invite after beating Old Dominion by 47 seconds (7:28.4). The Oread was the second Kansas boat to take home gold with a first-place finish in front of Delaware and Eastern Michigan with a time of 7:23.6.
- The showdown was highlighted by a victory from KU’s First Varsity Eight in the final race of the day. With a little help from a tail wind, Wave the Wheat crossed the finish line nearly four seconds faster than the previous weekend, finishing the nearly 2,000-meter course in 6:21.7.
- After two days of racing in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, KU placed fourth in the Big 12 Championship with 71 points and sixth in the Automatic Qualifying Championship with 21 points. The First Varsity Eight recorded KU’s best finish on the last day, placing fifth in the 1V8 top final with a time of 6:58.4.
- Senior Kaelyn Thierolf received All-Big 12 honors for the third time in her career. She has maintained a seat in KU’s First Varsity for a majority of her career in the Crimson and Blue.
- Kansas rowing saw 18 student-athletes earn Academic All-Big 12 honors. Thierolf, along with seniors Angie Allen, Bailey Coolidge, Meghan Karoly, Madison Wedderspoon and Margret Winter, juniors Kelly Koenigsman, Morgan Kottas, Katie McWhirter, McKayla Ross, Lilly Stewart, Michaela Theis and Valerie Swisher and sophomores Reese Arnold, Kalyn Blessing, Kate Englander, Kaitlyn Finger and Moira Frakes, garnered academic accolades from the league.
- In addition to Academic All-Big 12 honors, Karoly and Thierolf were named recipients of the Dr. Lage Academic Achievement Award, the Big 12 Conference’s highest academic honor.
- Nine Jayhawks were awarded academic honors at the national level by the Collegiate Rowing Coaches Association (CRCA). Arnold, Englander, Karoly, Koenigsman, Kottas, Stewart, Swisher, Thierolf and Winter earned CRCA Scholar Athlete accolades.