Kansas medals twice at the Head of the Oklahoma

OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. – Kansas rowing brought home the season’s first pair of medals as the Jayhawks competed at the Head of the Oklahoma in Oklahoma City, Okla. over the weekend.
Over the course of the two-day regatta on the Oklahoma River, KU medaled in two of its five events and recorded eight top 10 finsihes. Every race with the exception of the night sprints was on the 4,000-meter course along the Boathouse District of Oklahoma City. 

In the first race of Sunday morning, senior Bailey Blood and junior Morgan Kottas competed among a field of 39 in the women’s open 2-, placing ninth with a time of 17:49.27.
The Jayhawks capped off the successful weekend with a first place finish in the women’s open 4+ on Sunday, crossing the finish line in 16:12.09, a full 10 seconds in front of second-place Tulsa. The Jayhawks that earned the first gold medal of the year were coxswained by sophomore Liana Ochoa and powered by senior Peyton Anderson, sophomore Shannon Cody, senior Lilly Stewart and sophomore Hailey Humiston. Kansas’ other two boats competing in the open 4+ race finished sixth and seventh with times of 16:59.25 and 17:05.32, respectively.
On the first day of racing action, the Jayhawks’ Amelia earned KU’s first medal of the weekend with a third-place finish in the Women’s Collegiate 4+. In one of the closest races of the weekend, KU finished less than a second behind Tulsa, with a time 16:06.77, to round out the top three. The Amelia was led by junior coxswain Riley Varuska and powered by junior Reese Arnold, sophomore Shannon Cody, sophomore London Acree and junior Morgan Kottas.
Kansas A, Jayhawk Nation, clocked a seventh-place in the women’s collegiate 8+ with a time of 14:52.67, the top time among the Jayhawks’ Eights. The highlight of the weekend came Saturday night when both KU Eights participated in the popular night sprints. The Qiuet Beast and Jayhawk Nation finished third and sixth, respectively in their heats. 
Head coach Carrie Cook-Callen
On KU’s first place finish in the women’s open 4+:
“The four did a good job combining their natural power with good technical execution. A combination we must continue seeing in practice and in competition to achieve our goals this season.”
On the overall performance of the Jayhawks:
“This years team came back fitter, focused and more prepared to train from summer break. They have also been working hard at making technical changes this first month. It was fun to get to see many of our crews applying the changes and seeing success against the field of competition. We have plenty to work on, but have laid a nice foundation to build upon. We’ll return home and see what strides we can make in the three weeks leading up to the Jayhawk Jamboree.”
Senior Kristen Underhill
On this weekend’s performance:
“It’s a lot of fun being back on the water. We had some great competition here and I think that all of our training showed pretty well and I think we all preformed to the best of our ability.”
Sophomore Hailey Humiston
On the Jayhawks’ first place finish:
“We felt pretty good going into it. We felt strong and it being the last race of the weekend, we were going to give it all we got. Liana (Ochoa) made great calls throughout the entire race to pick up our power. Our goal was to chase the boat in front of us, which we did and we caught them at the end. When we heard we got first, it was awesome and unbelievable. We were all so excited that all the hard work we put in this weekend and the past couple of weeks paid off.”

  • KU ended the weekend with eight top-10 finished and record a top-10 finish in each event that Kansas competed in this weekend.  
  • This is the first time the Jayhawks have brought home two medals in a single weekend since KU’s First Varisty Eight and Second Varsity Four won gold at the 2018 George Mason Invite.   
  • KU’s first place finish in the Open 4+ gave the Jayhawks their first gold medal of the fall season.
  • The Jayhawks also took home the season’s first bronze medal as Kansas B finished third in the women’s collegiate 4+. 

Kansas will be back on the water for the sixth annual Jayhawk Jamboree on Oct. 21 at the Kansas Boathouse.




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