Kansas, Big 12 claim GMU Invite Cup

FAIRFAX STATION, Va. – All five of Kansas’ boats qualified for the top finals after sweeping the entire field during the qualifying heats at the George Mason Invite on Sunday at the Occoquan Reservoir in Fairfax Station, Virginia.
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. Wave the Wheat crossed the finish the 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.
“The First Varsity Eight had some really great rows this week in practice, so it was awesome to see them showcase their hard work and skills in a race setting,” said interim head coach Carrie Cook-Callen.
Continuing with its winning ways, the Second Varsity Four advanced to the top final for the second-straight week after beating Old Dominion by 47 seconds (7:28.4). The Oread was the second Kansas boats to take home gold with a first place finish in front of Delaware and Eastern Michigan with a time of 7:23.6.    
“The whole team has continued to make strides and get faster each week,” said Cook-Callen. “We look forward to returning to Kansas and racing at home next weekend to close out a busy month of racing.”
Ad Astra, the Second Varsity Eight, out raced Big 12 foes West Virginia and Old Dominion in its first race and moved on to the top final with a time of 6:46.9. The second race of the day for Ad Astra proved to be a little more difficult as it finished third (6:47.7) behind George Washington and Villanova.
KU’s First Varsity Four crossed the finish line seven seconds before second-place finisher Old Dominion and third place finisher West Virginia in 7:39.7 to advance to its top final. Wakarusa finished third and brought home a bronze medal with a time of 7:37.5.
The Quiet Beast added to the sweep of the preliminary heats with a first place finish (7:00.0) over West Virginia and Old Dominion. In a close one, George Washington (6:50.2) edged out the Jayhawks by two seconds to give Kansas (6:52.17) the silver medal.
The Jayhawks will be back at home for the annual Dillons Sunflower Showdown against Kansas State on April 28 in Kansas City, Kansas at Wyandotte County Lake.



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