Stiff Competition Brings Best Out of Rowing During Season Opener
OAK RIDGE, Tenn. — The University of Kansas rowing team began competition at the Oak Ridge Cardinal Invitational on the waters of Melton Lake. The Jayhawks went oar-to-oar against some the most elite competition in the nation, including four top-20 teams, for the event hosted by the University of Louisville.
“We had a good start to the season. Our racing times were way ahead of where they have been in previous years at this point in the season.” said Kansas head coach Rob Catloth. “I am pretty pleased at where we are, we have two eights and two fours that are going pretty fast, and I am pleased with the speed we are showing right now.”
Kansas began Friday morning in the First Varsity Eight competition, gliding to a third place finish just four seconds behind Big 12 foe Oklahoma with a time of 6:39.59
Up next, the Jayhawks raced in the First Varsity Four where they finished second with a time of 7:29.94, then third in the Third Varsity Eight with a time of 7:05.47, and back to back second place finishes in Second Varsity Eight and Second Varsity Four with times of 6:40.57 and 7:36.58 respectively.
Finishing up the Saturday morning session, Kansas raced in the Second Novice Eight where the Jayhawks finished in fourth place with a time of 7:07.14.
In the Saturday afternoon portion, KU started off with the Second Novice Eight dueling against Michigan State finishing at 6:57.03 just seconds behind their Big Ten opponent.
As the afternoon sessions continued the current picked up helping all boats finish quicker than in the morning. The First Varsity Eight was next facing Notre Dame, Virginia, and Michigan State where they placed fourth with a time of 6:31.32.
The day continued with the First Varsity Four and the Third Varsity Eight both finishing fourth with times of 7:20.22 and 6:54.22 respectively.
Rounding out the first day of competition was the Second Varsity Eight and Second Varsity Four where the Jayhawks placed third and second respectively. The 2V8 finished with a time of 6:30.93 and the 2V4 boat crossed at 7:12.92
On Sunday morning, the Jayhawks rounded out this weekend’s regatta facing off against No.11 Michigan and No.17 Notre Dame.
Even with harsh rainy conditions slowing boats, Kansas gave a strong effort starting off the day with a third-place finish from the First Varsity Eight as they crossed the finish line in 6:51.52.
Kansas saw third-place finishes from the First Varsity Four (7:51.13), Second Varsity Eight (6:58.65) and Second Varsity Four (7:53.74). The Third Varsity Eight and Third Varsity Four both placed second with times of 7:21.48 and 8:21.93, respectively.
“We have been to this race six or seven years now, and these are some of the fastest times we have rowed,” said Catloth. “Racing these top-20 teams is helping us get to that level and I think we are starting to head that way.”
The Jayhawks make their way back to Lawrence for their annual spring training camp where they will look to work on their starts and sprints along with making boat selections for upcoming races. Kansas hosts a dual with Drake on Saturday, March 26 on the Kansas River.
KU BOAT LINEUPS
First Varsity Eight
First Varsity Four
Third Varsity Eight
Second Varsity Eight
Second Varsity Four
Third Varsity Four