After over a year of waiting to get back on the water and compete in a scheduled event, the Kansas State rowing team put together a dominating performance at the Creighton Duel on Saturday afternoon.
After getting the taste of competition in a scrimmage against Oklahoma on March 13, the Wildcats took a trip to Omaha this weekend to compete in the first of four meets scheduled for the spring season before the Big 12 Championship.
The Wildcats started out hot on Saturday morning and never looked back. The team competed in four events on the day — two 4-person races and two 8-person races — and finished with a clean sweep over the Blue Jays of Creighton.
The day on the water started off with a 2v4+ race where the team had its most dominant win of the day with a time of 8:05.7. The Blue Jays finished 42 seconds later at 8:47.3, securing a hot start and the biggest margin of victory on the day for the well-rested Wildcats.
After picking up a win in the opening race, the Wildcats moved on to the 1v4+ race, stayed hot and secured a sweep of the 4-person races. A 7:54.1 time and a 30-second margin of victory in the second event had the team on a roll going into the 8-person races.
Heading into the second half of the day and the final two events, conditions on the water took a turn for the worse. However, the Wildcats were not to be denied on Saturday afternoon, not even by the harsh winds that picked up during the back half of the day.
Technical issues from Creighton’s boat in the 2v8+ race required a brief reset in the next event, but as soon as the race started back up, the Wildcats darted past the Blue Jays and cruised to a third straight victory of the day. Redshirt freshman Kelsey Ladlie led the team on the water as coxswain and guided the team to a 7:20.8 time in the race.
K-State needed one more win in the fourth race of the day to secure a clean sweep, and as the team did all day, it took care of business. In fact, it saved the best for last, as a 7:00.1 time in the 1v8+ race not only secured the sweep but came in as the team’s lowest time of the day.
“We were impressed by how our athletes held their technique together,” head coach Patrick Sweeney said in a press release to K-State athletics. “Conditions deteriorated throughout the day. A strong crosswind continued to challenge us as we raced. For being a young team, who is still relatively new to racing, they kept it together and handled it well.”
The team shook off over a year without competition and strung together multiple victories. The time off was worthwhile for the Wildcats on Saturday as the team was reminded of the taste of victory for the first time since last year.
The Wildcats next compete at the Sunshine State Invitational in Sarasota, Florida, on April 2.