After a hard-fought victory over the University of Kansas, the Kansas State rowing team brought the Sunflower Showdown Championship Trophy back to Manhattan on Saturday for the first time in four years.
The Wildcats won four events and beat KU 13-9. This season has been filled with multiple event victories at every competition for the team so far.
K-State took an early two-point lead in the first race of the day by claiming the third varsity eight race. The Wildcats finished in 6:42.30, and the Jayhawks crossed the finish line in 6:49.57.
Increasing the lead to 4-0, the second varsity four boat for K-State claimed the second event. The boat finished in 7:33.20 over KU’s 7:41.47.
The Wildcats’ varsity four boat won the third event of the day with a time of 7:06.90. This victory added three more points to give K-State a 7-0 lead for the day.
“It is very special; our girls fought very hard and raced well today,” head coach Patrick Sweeney said to K-State Sports. “I was very pleased with how they have progressed this season with their lack of water time. They have really impressed me, and today shows that.”
The second varsity eight race was the second-to-last event of the day. The second varsity eight boat for K-State finished in 6:28.20, while KU finished in 6:40.88.
In the last race of the day for the Sunflower Showdown, KU earned nine points by pulling past the K-State first varsity eight boat. The Jayhawks finished the race with a time of 6:21.70 to win the event. The Wildcats finished second with a time of 6:25.35.
Despite the one loss to the Jayhawks, K-State was able to claim the overall victory with the amount of points collected throughout the day.
“The boats rowed really well today,” Sweeney said to K-State Sports. “I think that they showed that they have what it takes to really compete. We have a young team, so going forward, if we can do what we did today, I think we will be in good shape.”
The rowing team will spend next week in preparation for the Big 12 Championship in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. K-State had five boats competing in the finals in Oak Ridge earlier this season when they competed in the SIRA Championship. At that race, the five boats for the Wildcats placed in the top five.