Jayhawks Gather Wins, Support at Home Scrimmage

LAWRENCE, Kan.—Enthusiasm about the Kansas rowing program was in full swing on Saturday afternoon as the Jayhawks hosted Kansas State and Drake for a scrimmage at the Kansas Boathouse.

A crowd of more than 300 created an exciting atmosphere for the teams competing in the scrimmage, which made for a fun day for both rowers and spectators despite the chilly wind. Kansas began the day competing in First Varsity Eight and Second Varsity Eight races against Drake. The Jayhawks showed great endurance and toughness as both boats finished first in each of their five shortened races. The altered distance allowed KU coaches to go over certain in-race situations.

“A normal race is 2,000 meters, and we went 1,000 today,” stated Kansas head coach Rob Catloth. “We broke (the five 1,000m runs) up into thirds, the first two being how you come off the start. The second two were middle of the race and the last was a sprint. It was good to put race planning into practice in shorter sections or bursts.”

The day continued as Kansas scrimmaged rival Kansas State in the Third Varsity Eight and Fourth Varsity Eight boats. KU’s Third Varsity Eight boat finished ahead of the Wildcats in each of their five trips down the river. The Fourth Varsity Eight boat topped K-State in two of the five races, giving the Jayhawks an impressive 17 first-place finishes on the day. The practice also allowed KU coaches to continue finalizing boating lineups.

“I don’t know if we’re quite there yet, we’re still trying to get people to be consistent,” said Catloth. “We’ve only been on the water for three weeks so we’re still trying to find out where rowers are being consistent. We have a couple boats that are close to the same speed. A lot of our athletes are pretty even so we can really plug in athletes anywhere between the Second Varsity Eight and the First, or the Second Varsity Four and the Third Varsity Eight.”

The Kansas rowing staff made it a point to thank all of Jayhawk nation who came out to the Saturday afternoon scrimmage and encouraged fans to continue showing their great support at the remaining home regattas.

Up next for the Jayhawks is a trip to Dallas, Texas on April 4, as they will square off with the Mustangs of SMU. The regatta will be an official event with recorded times and finishes.

“We’re training really hard through this spring. Our goal is to be successful in the Big 12 Championships,” Catloth said. “Right now our push is to keep getting fitter, stronger and faster every week. They are doing a great job of that with great attitudes. We’re really being aggressive about trying to improve.”

Following the trip to Dallas, KU will compete in the Knecht Cup on April 11-12 in West Windsor, New Jersey.

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