Kansas opens 2018 with Big 12 Double Dual
KANSAS CITY, Kan. – Despite a chilly morning, the temperatures warmed enough for Kansas rowing to hit the open the water for its first competition of 2018. The Jayhawks hosted Alabama and Tennessee in the Big 12 Double Dual on Saturday afternoon on Wyandotte County Lake.
The first regatta of the year was highlighted by a first-place finish by KU’s Second Varsity Four against Tennessee, the second-to-last race of the day for the Jayhawks.
“Today was a great start to our April and we saw a lot of good things happening as we came down the race course,” said interim head coach Carrie Cook-Callen. “There are definitely some things we want to work on, but the team did a great job of racing to who they are at this point in the season.”
In a close race that came down to the final sprint, Kansas edged the Volunteers by two seconds with a time of a 7:43.900. The Wakarusa coxswained by freshman Liana Ochoa took first place in its second heat of the day.
“We started out really strong and we finally took it in the second half of the race,” said Ochoa. “Once I was even with Tennessee’s coxswain that was the motivation we needed to finish the race.”
To start the day, KU’s First Varsity Eight came up just short in its first heat of the day against Alabama. The Jayhawks finished just behind the Crimson Tide with their fastest time of the regatta, crossing the finish line in 6:37.461. In their second heat, the First Varsity Eight finished with a time of 6:43.942 behind Tennessee.
Following the First Varsity Eight’s close finish, KU’s Second Varsity Eight had a close finish of its own, but Alabama edged KU in a photo finish by less than a second. KU’s Second Varsity Eight clocked in with a time of 6:48.748 against Alabama and 6:42.521 against Tennessee in its final heat.
KU’s First Varsity Four and Third Varsity Eight each earned second place finishes against the Crimson Tide and Volunteers. The First Varsity Four recorded its fastest time of the day (7:43.584) against Alabama, while the Jayhawks’ Third Varsity Eight registered its fastest time (7:21.847) down the race course against the Crimson Tide.
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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