Strong Showing in Opening Day of Knecht Cup
West Windsor, N.J. – The University of Kansas rowing team began competition Saturday morning in the prestigious Knecht Cup in New Jersey. The Jayhawks endured high winds, but enjoyed multiple successes as three boats advanced to Sunday’s semifinals while one moved on to the Grand Finals.
“Our goal was to progress on (to Sunday),” said Kansas head coach Rob Catloth. “I think we did a good job of that today. So far we’re excited and hopefully it carries over to tomorrow.”
Kansas began the morning in the Varsity Four competition, where the Jayhawks cruised to a first-place finish with a time of 7:39.70, the fourth-fastest time posted out of all the heats. Rowing for KU were junior Margaret Hornick, sophomores Kate Cropp, Kylee Dewey, Madison Hovis and coxswain Mallory Miller. Since KU posted the fourth-quickest time overall, the Varsity Four will move on to compete in Sunday’s semifinal race.
Next up was the Second Varsity Four, where KU chalked up its second first-place finish in as many races. Kansas clocked a time of 7:45.60, more than 10 full seconds ahead of second-place finisher Boston College. KU was paced by senior coxswain Sarah Lasini, junior Casey Kelly, sophomores Danielle Gibson, Brittney Railsback and freshman
Armed with the best-overall time, the 2v4 earned a spot in Sunday’s Grand Final race against Alabama, Boston College, Philadelphia, Tulsa, UMASS and Villanova.
After high winds delayed portions of the competition, Saturday evening’s sessions included the Second Varsity Eight race. The Jayhawks continued its solid run of success by finishing fifth in their heat with a time of 6:58.36, again punching their ticket to Sunday. The boat consisted of seniors Jennifer Hartzler and Alexa Fowlkes sophomores Lexie Lanphere, coxswain Kenzie Obrochta, Margret Winter, Jordan Helms and Katherine Young freshman BriAnna Dittberner and Kaelyn Thierolf.
Kansas finished the opening day of competition in style, winning its third race of the day in its respective heat – this time in the First Varsity Eight. KU finished with a time of 6:45.64, two seconds ahead of Big 12-foe West Virginia, to put the boat into Sunday’s semifinals. Leading the Jayhawks were seniors Julia Alvey, Brooke Thuston and Claudijah Lever, juniors Maggie Duncan, coxswain Mary Slattery, Tessa Scott and sophomores Olivia Loney, Allison Schaaf and Maddie Irelan.
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Complete Kansas Results
First Varsity Four – 1st place (7:39.70)
Mallory Miller – Coxswain
Second Varsity Four – 1st place (7:45.60)
Sarah Lasini – Coxswain