Kansas Gears Up for Big 12 Championships

LAWRENCE, Kan. — Following a victory over Kansas State in the Sunflower Showdown, the Kansas rowing team looks to keep momentum rolling this weekend as the Jayhawks head to Oak Ridge, Tennessee to compete in the Big 12 Championship.

The 2015 Big 12 Rowing Championship will mark the fourth season the event has been recognized as a fully-supported conference championship.

The Alabama Crimson Tide, Old Dominion Monarchs and the Tennessee Volunteers will join Kansas, Kansas State, Oklahoma, Texas and West Virginia in the 2015 event as affiliate members competing for the league’s automatic bid to the NCAA Rowing Championship.

“It’s going to be good tough competition,” stated Kansas head coach Rob Catloth. “Right now from how Texas has been doing I think everyone will be chasing them. Everyone has been getting faster and I think it’ll be tight racing.”

Jayhawks in the Big 12
Kansas is coming off three-straight third-place finishes in the Big 12 Championship. Last spring, KU had a first-place finish in the Varsity Four race, edging Texas by less than a second. Kansas also picked up a victory in the Fourth Varsity Eight, cruising to a first-place finish by nearly 20 seconds. At the conclusion of competition, three Jayhawks were named to the All-Big 12 Team, including Claudijah Lever, who will row in her final Big 12 event this weekend.

Familiar Faces
In the five regattas the Jayhawks have participated in this spring, they’ve seen every Big 12 opponent at least once, something Catloth hopes will give KU an advantage.

“One of the things we’ve tried to do all year when we see a Big 12 opponent is to be successful against them no matter where we were,” said Catloth. “Almost every race this year we’ve seen a Big 12 opponent. Our goal all year was to be as successful as we can in the Big 12 Conference and in this Championship.”

On the Water
The conference championship will be split into two days with afternoon action on Saturday and morning races on Sunday.

Saturday will be strictly heat racing as the teams fight for a spot in the Grand Finals. Racing will begin at 1:00 p.m. (Central) with the First Varsity Eight followed by the Second Varsity Eight, First Varsity Four, Second Varsity Four and rounding out the day will be the Third Varsity Eight.

Sunday marks the finale of the competition with both Petite and Grand Finals taking center stage. Racing will open at 8:00 a.m. (Central) with the Third Varsity Eight Petite Final. Racing will conclude around 9:40 a.m. with an award ceremony following at 10:15 a.m.

Though few regattas around the nation use the heat racing format, the Jayhawks should be familiar with it. KU had a strong outing at the Knecht Cup this season using the same format. The Jayhawks posted two second-place finishes in Grand Final races and had a victory in the First Varsity Eight Petite Final.

Schedule of Events
Saturday May 16
2:00pm First Varsity Eight, Heat 1
2:10pm First Varsity Eight, Heat 2
2:20pm Second Varsity Eight, Heat 1
2:30pm Second Varsity Eight, Heat 2
2:40pm First Varsity Four, Heat 1
2:50pm First Varsity Four, Heat 2
3:00pm Second Varsity Four, Heat 1
3:10pm Second Varsity Four, Heat 2
3:20pm Third Varsity Eight, Heat 1
3:30pm Third Varsity Eight, Heat 2

Sunday May 17
9:00am Third Varsity Eight, Petite Final
9:10am Third Varsity Eight, Grand Final
9:20am Second Varsity Four, Petite Final
9:30am Second Varsity Four, Grand Final
9:40am First Varsity Four, Petite Final
9:50am First Varsity Four, Grand Final
10:00am Second Varsity Eight, Petite Final
10:10am Second Varsity Eight, Grand Final
10:20am First Varsity Eight, Petite Final
10:30am First Varsity Eight, Grand Final

Follow the Hawks
Live results will be posted on Twitter @KU_Rowing with full coverage at KUAthletics.com following each day of the competition.

NCAA Championship
The NCAA Rowing Championship field will be announced on Tuesday May 19 at 5 p.m.

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