The Kansas State rowing team traveled to Melton Hill Lake in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, this weekend to battle it out in the Southern Intercollegiate Rowing Association Championships, or SIRA. The Wildcat boats collected three gold medals and two silver medals.
Head coach Patrick Sweeney attributed the Wildcats’ success to good technique and lessons learned in time trials.
“We kind of took the opportunity to focus on the technical side of things in the time trials and kind of allow them to put it all together and let loose in the finals,” Sweeney said to K-State Sports. “All the boats did a nice job. To have three boats place first then another two place second in the same race, it’s good.”
On Friday, all five of the Wildcat boats earned spots in the top five, with the 1v4+ and the 2v8+ boats earning first place during the time trials.
The 1v4+ boat earned the top spot in the semifinals in the varsity 4+ with a time of 6:52.90. The 2v4+ finished in second place with a time of 7:13.40 in the semifinals. The Wildcat 1v4+ went on to win in the finals with a time of 7:33.36. The 2v4+ boat followed, placing second with 7:47.07.
In the varsity 8+ competition, the 1v8+ boat finished with the second-fastest semifinal time at 7:13.408, earning a spot in the finals. When the boat returned to the water for the finals, they earned a gold medal with a time of 6:56.02. Their finals finish was over 15 seconds faster than their initial finish in the semifinal round earlier that same day.
The K-State 2v8+ and the 3v8+ boats also earned the two fastest times to land a spot in the finals. The 2v8+ boat finished with a time of 6:16.83 and the 3v8+ boat finished with a time of 6:27.93 in the time trials.
In the finals, the 2v8+ boat finished in first, earning the final gold medal for the Wildcats with a time of 6:55.61. The 3v8+ boat finished in second place with a time of 7:02.47.
“Now, the pressure is on to compete,” Sweeney said to K-State Sports. “There’s no second chances. We’re going to continue to push and set our focus on the Sunflower Showdown and Big 12 [Championship].”
The Wildcats will return to compete at the Sunflower Showdown versus the Kansas Jayhawks on May 4 in Kansas City, Kansas, before heading to the Big 12 Championships in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, on May 19.