K-State rowing to open fall season in Oklahoma

The women of the varsity rowing try to keep their strokes in perfect unison during practice in the tank room on Feb. 13, 2014. (Archive photo by Hannah Hunsinger | Collegian Media Group)

The Kansas State women’s rowing team will open its 2017 season in Oklahoma at the Head of the Oklahoma regatta on Oct. 7-8.

The Head of the Oklahoma regatta will debut new Wildcat leadership with former rowers, Noelle Dykmann as assistant coach and Kayla Brock as graduate assistant.

“The development side is a huge objective, and focusing on building the younger girls so they can make the boat stronger in the future,” said Dykmann in regards to what the main focus for the 2017-18 season is.

Although Dykmann had no previous rowing experience before she came to K-State, she became a decorated rower during her time here

Some of Dykmann’s impressive results include finishing with silver and bronze at Big 12 Championship races, four gold medals at the Southern Intercollegiate Rowing Association Championships and being named to the All Big-12 Rowing Team.

Regarding her new responsibilities as graduate assistant, Brock said, “I get it, and I know what I’m supposed to do, so having to break that all back down to a redshirt who didn’t even know what a boat was before they came here is crazy to me, so having to break it back down to basics is challenging but exciting.”

Brock rowed for the Wildcats since 2013-14 and had an accomplished career during her time competing. Brock won gold four times at the Southern Intercollegiate Rowing Association Championship and also medaled three times at the Big 12 Championships.

“It’s a challenge — it’s no simple task,” Dykmann said. “It’s nice that I can work with people I can trust and care about a lot, but the biggest responsibility is coaching our freshman right now and pushing them to make them as strong as we can until we can pass them on to the racing squad and, in addition, to recruit.”

Recruiting is one of the biggest focuses for Dykmann and Brock, as they believe it can be improved and is essential to push hard in order to find athletes willing to help build and find success for the program in the long run.

Since the freshmen are all redshirted until they gain more rowing experience, this weekend will be the first time the novice women will have the opportunity to compete.

The Head of the Oklahoma does not only feature Division 1 schools such as Tulsa and Oklahoma but also Division 2 universities and local clubs.