Jayhawks fall to Wildcats in Sunflower Showdown

KANSAS CITY, Kan. – Kansas’ first varsity eight brought home a first place finish for the second weekend in a row, but Wave the Wheat’s victory wasn’t enough to claim the Dillons Sunflower Showdown against Kansas State on Saturday at Wyandotte County Lake in Kansas City, Kansas.
The showdown was highlighted by a win 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 last weekend, finishing the nearly 2,000-meter course in 6:21.7
“We went out really confident and relaxed,” said senior oarswoman Magret Winter. “We knew what we wanted to do today to show our strength and our progress through the season. As a boat, we came off the line really strong, we pushed through the whole race and then sprinted like we always do.”
Wave the Wheat was coxswained by senior Bailey Coolidge and powered by redshirt junior McKayla Ross, sophomore Morgan Kottas, senior Kaelyn Thierolf, junior Lilly Stewart, junior Peyton Anderson, senior Margret Winter, sophomore Isabel Horosz and redshirt junior Meghan Karoly. 
“I think today showed that the first eight has done a really good job of progressing every race with getting faster,” said Coolidge. “That was the reason for the celebration, not only the win, but the satisfaction of getting better with every race.”
The Second Varsity Eight, Ad Astra, was edged by Kansas State for second place with a time of 6:40.88. The Second Varsity Eight race clinched the Showdown victory for the Wildcats. K-State outscored KU, 13-9, to win the Sunflower Showdown for the first time in three years.
The Oread fell just short of first place, crossing the finish line eight seconds behind Kansas State in the First Varsity Four race. KU’s First Varsity Four clocked in at 7:14.72, another top time of the season. KU’s Second Varsity Four finished with a time of 7:41.47 to give Wakarusa a second place finish.
“It was a great day of racing with our instate rival,” said interim head coach Carrie Cook-Callen. “We got a little out raced by the Wildcats today, but we’ll get back to work these next two weeks to be at our best for the Big 12 Championships.”
Two Kansas boats competed in the Third Varsity race: Jayhawk Nation and Quite Beast. Jayhawk Nation, KU’s Third Varsity Eight, finished in 6:49.57 just behind Kansas State for second place, while the Fourth Varsity Eight, the Quite Beast, finished in third place with a time of 7:30.57 in its first competition of the spring.
Kansas will be on the road again for the 2018 Big 12 Championship in Oak Ridge, Tennessee on Melton Hill Lake May 12-13.




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