Top finishes put Jayhawks ahead in Jamboree
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Kansas rowing brought home two gold medals at the sixth annual Jayhawk Jamboree, bringing its medal count to four for the fall, Sunday afternoon on the Kansas River.
Kansas saw a successful day on the water after the Jayhawks took first place in the Women’s Novice 8+ and the Women’s Collegiate 8+ 300-meter sprints. Additionally, Kansas recorded six top-10 finishes in three events.
The final event of the day – and fan favorite – the 300-meter sprints took place right in front of the Kansas Boathouse and three of four KU Eights qualified for the finale event. Kansas A, Jayhawk Nation, qualified for the semifinals after placing first in the qualifying heat overcoming Kansas C and Iowa with a time of 1:01.3. In the semifinals, Jayhawk Nation beat its qualifying time by two seconds and went on to defeat Big 12 foe Oklahoma to advance to the finals.
Junior coxswain Riley Varuska, junior Reese Arnold, sophomore Shannon Cody, senior Peyton Anderson, senior Kristen Underhill, junior Isabel Horosz, senior Lilly Stewart, senior Bailey Blood and junior Morgan Kottas led the Jayhawks to a victory over Kansas State in the 300-meter sprint finals by less than a second.
The first gold medal of the day came from a group of novice rowers, racing for the first time in their collegiate careers. Kansas A crossed the finish line three seconds ahead of in-state rival Kansas State with a time of 15:39.1 to claim first place in Women’s Novice 8+.
KU’s Sue Anderson was coxswained by freshman Danica Pecana and powered by freshman Miranda Horn, freshman Lillian Thomas, freshman Abigail Benedict, junior Hannah Roemer, freshman Margo Hunter, freshman Samantha Kummer, freshman Maggie Habben and freshman Izzy Hauber
- The Jayhawks started the Jamboree with five shells competing in the Women’s Collegiate 4+. Kansas B and Kansas A recorded the top finishes for the Jayhawks with fifth (15:56.2) and sixth place (16:00.9).
- Along with the first place for Kansas A in the Women’s Novice 8+, the Jayhawks had two other top-10 finishes with fourth place (15:54.0) and sixth place (16:07.2).
- The 4,000-meter races closed out with fourth-place finish from Kansas A in 14:27.6 in the women’s collegiate 8+.
Head coach Carrie Cook-Callen
On the Novice Eight and Varsity Eight wins:
“It always creates a high to reach that podium level and get that medal around your neck, so that’s important for us. We are also setting the building blocks on what we want to build on for the spring. We still have plenty of work and plenty of time to prepare for our spring season.”
On the atmosphere:
“We travel to so many races that are away from the region that it is nice to have this one in Lawrence, where it’s easy from friends and family to come down, to be working out of the boathouse and for people to see the university’s commitment to our program is always really fun. This event is really for our student-athletes, so they can feel the fans and the excitement.”
Junior Reese Arnold
On the final against Kansas State:
“Someone in the boat said it was the Sunflower Showdown part one. We knew we had to beat them and set the stage for the upcoming year. We were able to showcase everything we have been working on this year and beating our rivals is the sweetest victory ever. It wasn’t an option for us not to win, so we just went for it.”
On the Jamboree being the only regatta in Lawrence:
“It means so much to me that my friends and family come and the community as a whole comes to support. It’s so special to be able to compete in Lawrence. This being the only home race of the year, it’s highly anticipated all year long. Then when it’s over, we wish we could do it every weekend.”
Freshman Lillian Thomas
On racing in the heavy winds:
“As we were getting to the bridge, the water got really bad and the wind picked up. We did a really good job staying focused, strong and relaxed. I think that’s what really helped us and what I am most proud of.”
On winning the Novice Eight:
“I couldn’t even believe it. When I heard, I sprinted to let my boat know and celebrate with them. It was just amazing.”
In its final regatta of the fall, Kansas will travel to Oklahoma for Tulsa’s Fall Regatta on Nov. 3.
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