Three Kansas boats advance to top finals at Knecht Cup
WEST WINDSOR TOWNSHIP, N.J. – Three of Kansas’ five boats qualified for the top finals after impressive qualifying heat performances at the Knecht Cup on Saturday on Mercer Lake in West Windsor Township, New Jersey.
For the second weekend in a row, the Jayhawks Second Varsity Four boat brought home the top finish for Kansas after advancing to the grand final on Saturday evening and placing second, just behind Temple.
“As a team, we learned a lot today,” said interim head coach Carrie Cook-Callen. “It was great to race so many crews, be in some tight races and get a chance to execute what we have been working on in practice this past week.”
The Second Varsity Four (Wakarusa) took home a silver medal, crossing the finish line with a time of 7:43.21, in what was a near photo finish behind Temple. Wakarusa qualified for the finals by winning its first heat of the day by over 15 seconds to runner up UMass.
The Second Varsity Eight, Ad Astra, also made it to the grand finals in its respective event. The Jayhawks were edged out of first place by Temple in their first heat of the day. The second-place finish advanced Ad Astra to the finals where it finished seventh with a time of 7:04.84.
The third boat for the Jayhawks to advance all the way to the top finals was the Third Varsity Eight. During the qualifying heat, the Quite Beast placed third with a time of 7:35.22. Kansas crossed the finish line a whole 39 seconds before the fourth-place finisher George Mason. The third-place finish was good enough to put KU in the finals, where the Jayhawks knocked off 14 seconds from their previous race, but placed fifth in the final.
Kansas’ First Varsity Four was the only Jayhawk crew to race three times after the two-day event was condensed to all races on Saturday. The Oread’s first heat of the morning pushed Kansas into the semifinals with a third-place finish and its fastest time of the day (7:51.81). Next up for the Oread were the semifinals, which KU finished fifth with a time of 7:51.84 to advance to the 1V4 Petite Final. In the Oread’s final 2,000-meter race of the day, the Jayhawks crossed the finish line in 8:03.26 for fourth place.
The First Varsity Eight had the fastest time for the Kansas eights (6:43.65) in its fourth-place finish in its opening race, sending Wave the Wheat to the 1V8 Petite Final. The Jayhawks were nudged out of first place by Miami and finished second with a time of 6:50.41.
The Jayhawks will head back to the east coast for the George Mason Invitational on April 22 at the Occoquan Reservoir in Fairfax Station, Virginia.
KUAthletics.com: The official online source for Kansas Athletics, Williams Education Fund contributions, tickets, merchandise, multimedia, photos and much, much more.