Kansas concludes fall slate at Tulsa Invitational

LAWRENCE, Kan. – Kansas rowing will finish the fall season at the Tulsa Fall Invitational on Nov. 3-4 at the Verdigris River in Catoosa, Oklahoma. KU looks to build off of the momentum created at the fifth annual Jayhawk Jamboree a couple weeks ago.
 
The Tulsa Fall Invitational is the second and final of two fall competitions for the Jayhawks as KU continues to prepare for the spring season. The invitational is another opportunity for the Jayhawks to compete against other programs from around the Midwest ahead of the NCAA spring season. The regatta will take on a head race style, in which boats launch one at a time and race against the clock.
 
Alongside Kansas and Tulsa, the race will feature SMU and Central Oklahoma.
 
THE COMPETITION
Tulsa heads into the weekend with two fall regattas under its belt. The first coming in early October at the Head of the Oklahoma in Oklahoma City. Tulsa’s Varsity Eight and Varsity Four boats earned bronze medals during the first day of competition. The Golden Hurricane also earned three first-place finishes, including a sweep of the Open 1x race and taking first and second place in both the 4+ and 4x races. For its second competition of the year, Tulsa joined Kansas at the Jayhawk Jamboree. Tulsa took home a gold medal, two silver medals and rounded out the day with a bronze.
 
SMU opened its fall season at the Head of Oklahoma on Oct. 8. The two-day event proved to be a successful outing for the Mustangs. The First Varsity Four and First Varsity Eight both recorded second place finishes, while SMU’s Open 4+ took home the bronze medal.
 
Central Oklahoma also began its season along with Tulsa and SMU at the Head of Oklahoma. The Broncos had a couple top-10 finishes with the First Varsity Eight and the Third Varsity Eight. For the first time in the program history, UCO raced in the Open 2x. The Broncos were led my two standout freshman to take home a bronze medal, falling only to the Polish National Team and a boat of US Olympic hopefuls. Central Oklahoma also traveled to Lawrence for the Jayhawk Jamboree. The First Varsity Eight, the First Novice Eight and the First Novice Four all saw success with top-five finishes.
 
PAST SUCCESS IN TULSA
The Jayhawks have seen success in Tulsa in recent years with several top-five finishes, including a couple of first-place medals. Kansas’ First Novice Eight was the stand out in its race, finishing almost a full minute ahead of the other boats. KU clocked in with a time of 15:39.6 for first place. Kansas First Varsity Eight finished ahead of Tulsa and SMU to also bring home first place with a time of 14:14.1. Six rowers from last season’s First Varsity Eight lineup, including Angie Allen, BriAnna Dittberner, Kaelyn Thierolf, Margret Winter, McKayla Ross and Meghan Karoly, return to Tulsa this year, looking to repeat 2016’s results. The Second Varsity Eight was not far behind finishing in 14:34.8 in fourth place. The Jayhawks have two returners from the 2016 Second Varsity Eight, Reese Arnold and Lilly Stewart, that raced in Tulsa a year ago. 
 
WHAT’S IN A NAME?
Along with a new season and new members of the Jayhawk family, Kansas added two new shells to the boathouse. The first, Ad Astra, was named after the Kansas motto “to the stars through difficulties.” The second boat, the Jayhawks needed help from fans to name. The community was able to send in their suggestions and vote on the favorite name later on. With over a thousand votes, Wave the Wheat beat out almost 200 suggestions from the fans.
 
Waving the wheat has symbolized a winning tradition at Kansas and the Jayhawks are excited to incorporate such a tradition into their winning ways on the water. Going forward with the season, Wave the Wheat and Ad Astra will be the boats of choice for the First and Second Varsity Eights.
 
In its first outing on the Kansas River, Wave the Wheat was coxswained by junior Abigale Lane and rowers included redshirt junior McKayla Ross, senior BriAnna Dittberner, senior Kaelyn Thierolf, redshirt senior Margret Winter, junior Peyton Anderson, sophomore Morgan Kottas, sophomore Kaitlyn Finger and redshirt junior Meghan Karoly.
 
Ad Astra first race was coxswained by senior Bailey Coolidge and rowers included junior Bailey Blood, junior Lilly Stewart, sophomore Reese Arnold, junior Kristen Underhill,  junior Kayla Stubblefield, junior Ally Fullerton, senior Aminah Reid-Brydon and junior Madison Wedderspoon.     
 
LAST TIME OUT ON THE WATER
The Jayhawks opened their fall season at the fifth annual Jayhawk Jamboree on Oct. 22. Kansas competed against nine other programs and over 130 boats from around the region. The First and Second Varsity Four boats started the day with a pair of top-10 finishes with times of 14:18.16 and 14:46.87 respectively.
 
Although it was the first competition the novice group has seen in their collegiate career, KU had a top-five finish with the First Novice Eight placing fourth with a time of 14:32.17. After the Novice races, senior Aminah Reid-Brydon and junior Madison Wedderspoon took home silver in the open pair, doubles and single races. Kansas’ First and Second Varsity Eight finished the day with two more top-10 finishes. First Varsity Eight came in sixth place with a time of 13:04.62 and KU’s Second Varsity Eight finished right behind them in 13:42.70.
 
WEEKEND SCHEDULE
Friday, November 3
3:30pm Varsity 4
4:00pm Novice 8
4:40pm Varsity 1x
4:50pm Varsity 2x
5:00pm Varsity 2-
 
Saturday, November 4
8:30am Varsity 8
9:00am Novice 4
9:40am Varsity 4x
 
UP NEXT
The Jayhawks will start their spring season when they travel to Florida for a two-week training session Jan. 4-13.
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