OAK RIDGE, Tenn. — Heading into the Southern Intercollegiate Rowing Association Championships this weekend, K-State rowing head coach Patrick Sweeney said he wanted to see his team to continue building off its recent success at the Kansas Cup and post faster times heading into the Big 12 Championship.
Sweeney got his wish as his Wildcats came home from SIRAs with one gold, silver and bronze medal with all four boats advancing to the grand final in their respective races.
Sweeney and his coaching staff made a few lineup changes prior to this weekend’s regatta, and the changes appeared to work well for the Wildcats.
K-State’s top performance of the two days came from the 2nd Varsity 8 as the crew claimed the team’s gold medal at SIRAs. The 2V8 was racing in the Women’s Junior Varsity 8 competition.
The Wildcats took second place in their first-round heat, crossing the line in 7:06.85 and trailing George Washington by more than 7 seconds.
In the final, however, K-State would be the one leaving the competition behind. The Wildcats pulled away from the field and finished in 6:50.30, this time defeating George Washington by just more than four seconds.
The Women’s Novice 8 won their preliminary heat and after advancing through the semifinals went on to finish third overall with a time of 7:11.12 in the final. Sweeney said he was pleased with how the boat responded with some new members this weekend.
K-State’s silver medal came from the Varsity 4, as the Wildcats lost a tight battle with Nova Southeastern in the final. The Wildcats finished with a time of 7:35.59 to trail by approximately 4 seconds. The boat advanced to the final as the Wildcats and GWU dominated to leave the rest of the field far behind in their semifinal heat.
The 1st Varsity 8 also advanced to the A Final, but were just short of bringing home a medal.
The Wildcats held off Central Oklahoma to finish second in the semifinal heat and advance to the grand final.
In the final, K-State was battling with Purdue for third place, but the Boilermakers were able to withstand the charge. K-State finished fourth and trailed Purdue by 2.04 seconds for the bronze. Grand Valley took home the gold in the top women’s race with a time of 6:32.20 and GWU finished second.
Next on the schedule for the Wildcats will be the Big 12 Championship.
K-State, Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas will take to the water on the Oklahoma River on Saturday. The teams will battle in a series of races with points awarded for placement in each. The Wildcats will join the Sooners and Jayhawks in attempting to end the three-year winning streak by the Longhorns.