Kansas hosts Big 12 Double Dual Saturday

LAWRENCE, Kan. — Kansas rowing starts the 2018 spring season with the first of two home regattas with the Big 12 Double Dual on Saturday, April 7, at Wyandotte County Lake in Kansas City, Kansas. The Jayhawks will race against Big 12 foes Alabama and Tennessee with races beginning at 12 p.m.

Saturday marks the first time that KU will compete this spring after participating in two scrimmages versus Tulsa and Indiana in the month of March in preparation of the upcoming season. After a long winter, the Jayhawks are ready to put all their hard work to the test throughout the next six weeks of the season.   

Scouting The Crimson Tide
Alabama heads into the weekend with three spring regattas already under its belt. The first came in late February with a win over Eastern Michigan, sweeping the Eagles in every 1,000-meter piece. The Crimson Tide’s First Varsity Eight crossed the finish line with the fastest time of the weekend at 3:41.99 and posted three more times under 3:50. Alabama continued with its winning ways with another sweep against SMU the following week. The First Varsity Eight defeated SMU with a time of 7:43.2 during the 2,000-meter race and followed up with two top finishes in the 1,000-meter pieces. The Crimson Tide’s winning streak came to an end at the Crimson Tide Invitational on Saturday, March 24. Although Alabama won all but one event, the Crimson Tide fell to Jacksonville in the First Varsity Eight final. 

Scouting The Volunteers
Tennessee comes into the Big 12 Double Dual with two competitions behind it. The Volunteers started the season at the seventh annual Oak Ridge Cardinal Invitational. On the first day of competition, Tennessee had two top finishes with the First Varsity Four beating Notre Dame, Louisville and Clemson with a time of 6:58.476. The Third Varsity Eight also came out on top, finishing ahead of Notre Dame by nearly eight seconds. Two weeks ago, the Volunteers competed in the San Diego Crew Classic and advanced four boats to the finals on Sunday, March 25. The First Varsity Four took first in the Petite Final with a time of 8:04.395 ahead of Kansas State.     

Ranking the Competition
Kansas will face tough competition this season with two of its opponents, Oklahoma and Texas, ranked among the top 20 in the CRCA/US Rowing Coaches Poll. Additionally, the Jayhawks traveled to Indiana, another program ranked among the best in the country, for their final tune up before the 2018 spring season opened. In the first poll of the year that was released on March 28, KU was receiving votes along with Tennessee. 

Scholar Athletes
The Big 12 Conference announced earlier this year the recipients of its highest honor, the Dr. Gerald Lage Award. A total of 14 Kansas student-athletes earned this recognition, including rowing’s redshirt-junior Meghan Karoly and senior Kaelyn Thierolf. In order to receive this honor, a student-athlete must have 100 hours of credit with a cumulative GPA of 3.80 or higher. This is the eighth year the award has honored academic excellence after Lage, who served as the Oklahoma State faculty athletics representative with the NCAA and the Big Eight/12 Conference from 1983 until 2007.  

Born to Lead
Some people become leaders over time; others are born to lead. Kansas senior rower Angie Allen is definitely a natural-born leader. Whether it be on the water, in a Big 12 committee meeting or a foreign country, Allen has been and will continue to be a successful leader in whatever she sets her mind to. Read the full story at RockChalkWeekly.com.

From Rowing to Research
Like many others leaving home for the first time and starting college, senior rower Keaton Poppe was unsure of what she wanted to study for the next four years and potentially work in the field for the rest of her life. Knowing that math and science came easy to her, Poppe applied for and was immediately accepted into the mechanical engineering program at Kansas. Read the full story at RockChalkWeekly.com.

Wave the Wheat and Ad Astra   
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 Jayhawks needed help from fans to name the second boat. The community was able to send in  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. 
Next Up
The Jayhawks will hit the road for the Knecht Cup April 14-15 in Windsor, New Jersey, to compete against schools from around the country. In 2016, KU brought home three medals from the Knecht Cup. 



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