Despite a lengthy two-week break from competition, the Wildcat rowing team was at its best this weekend at the Southern Intercollegiate Rowing Association Championships in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. All five boats sent to Tennessee medaled, including three first-place golds.
Head coach Patrick Sweeney said he was pleased with the Wildcats’ performances.
“The girls raced really well,” Sweeney said to K-State Sports. “In the training outings, you could tell they were getting quicker and quicker and that showed in the finals. It was great to have nice weather and to have flat water. Overall, it was a really great weekend.”
After losing to Old Dominion in the finals two weeks ago in San Diego, the Wildcats avenged their loss and took home the gold in the Varsity 8+ finals on Sunday. K-State finished with a time of 6:47.94, roughly two seconds ahead of second-place Old Dominion.
“Over the course of the weekend, the 1V8 really stepped up,” Sweeney said to K-State Sports about the team’s top boat. “They raced at a better pace than it has in its previous three races.”
The second Varsity 8 and first Novice 8 boats were the other first-place finishers for the Wildcats. Both boats won their heats on Saturday as well as their finals on Sunday.
“I think the novice boat really learned a lot this weekend,” Sweeney said to K-State Sports about the 1N8 boat. “It was good to see how they stepped up and raced really well.”
The second Varsity 4 and first Varsity 4 boats earned silver and bronze medals, respectively, in the Varsity 4+ finals on Sunday. The 2V4 boat finished with a time of 7:53.49 and the 1V4 boat finished in 7:56.18. Old Dominion was the team that finished ahead of the Wildcats with a time of 7:48.03.
Though Sweeney said he was happy overall, he said the Varsity 4 boats still might need some work.
“I think we have a little bit of fixing left to do,” Sweeney said to K-State Sports. “The 1V8 and 2V8 were really solid this weekend. I was really pleased with that. I think in the 4s, we still have some work to do to find a 4 that works.”
Up next for K-State is the Sunflower Showdown against in-state rival Kansas. The Wildcats will face off against the Jayhawks in Kansas City, Kansas, on April 30.