The rowing team topped off an exceptional season with a close second-place overall finish at the Big 12 Championship regatta in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
Head coach Patrick Sweeney told K-State sports that while it’s disappointing that K-State missed out on first place, the team performed well.
“Coming so close and getting second-place is a pain, but the athletes did a good job, they’ve done a good job all year,” Sweeney said. “Considering where they were last year and what they’ve done this year with the lack of water time, they’ve done a really good job.”
The Wildcats came into the race with an engine full of steam after a dominant showing at the Southern Intercollegiate Rowing Association regatta in Oak Ridge, Tennessee.
K-State opened the day with two fourth-place finishes for the 3rd and 4th Varsity 8 boats. After that the 2nd Varsity 4 posted a dominant first-place effort, finishing almost eight seconds ahead of the second place finisher Kansas.
The 1st Varsity 4 found themselves in a close third coming in behind Texas and Kansas going into the final two races.
K-State came into the 2nd Varsity 8 race in third in overall points. Oklahoma took first with a near 10-second win with K-State following in second.
The second-place finish was enough to put the 1st Varsity 8 in a familiar winner-take-all final race. Going into the final race Oklahoma led the pack with 66 points with K-State, Kansas and Texas all in position to win it all with 62, 61, and 59 points respectively.
The K-State 1st Varsity 8 started the race off strong, but it wasn’t enough to hold off the hungry Sooners from winning the race and back-to-back Big 12 titles.
Even with the close loss down the stretch, the second-place finish is the highest finish in program history since the regatta became officially sponsored by the Big 12 in 2012.
After the race, a program record five rowers were named to All-Big 12 teams including first team selections, seniors Allison Dorau and Lisa Angell and second team selections, senior coxswain Hillary Schartz, junior Meggie Murray and sophomore Madi Haney.
With one regatta left in the season, coach Sweeney said he thinks that this race gave his team beneficial experience for the future.
“This was good learning for (the athletes),” Sweeney told K-State Sports. “I think this gives us something to aim for. Some of the youngsters on some of the crews learned a lot this weekend. If we can get it right, there’s no reason why we can’t gain more speed with more time on the water.”
To finish off the season, the Wildcats be returning to Oak Ridge, Tennessee try to improve upon last season’s fifth place finish in the Conference USA Championship on May 17.