The Kansas State women’s rowing team continued its winning tradition on Melton Hill Lake as all four of the Wildcats’ boats won gold medals as competition came to a close at the Southern Intercollegiate Rowing Association Championship Regatta (SIRAs) on Saturday.
K-State’s performance marks the fourth-straight season that the team has had all of its boats medal and the first since the 2014 season that all of the team’s boats won gold medals. “Having five days on the water allowed the women to improve and find more speed,” head coach Patrick Sweeney said. “It was a good learning experience for all of the boats. It is a young team, so when they get the water time, they make big leaps. They did a good job this weekend.” The 1V8 got the weekend off to a hot start on Friday, recording a time of 6:09.890 in the time trials behind Big 12 foe Old Dominion. The crew’s time qualified for Saturday’s semifinal race, which it won with a time of 6:53.550 over Jacksonville, Wichita State and Rollins.
The Wildcats carried that momentum down the course in the final, posting a winning time of 6:44.936. The time was almost three seconds faster than Old Dominion’s boat. Both the 2V8 and 3V8 finished in the top-three in Friday’s time trials, finishing behind Jacksonville’s “A” boat (6:15.780) with times of 6:21.490 and 6:28.710 to finish in second place and third place, respectively.
Both the 2V8 and 3V8 claimed gold medals after Saturday’s finals. The 3V8 got things started, winning its gold medal with a time of 7:21.451, beating runner-up Tennessee by just under 22 seconds.
K-State’s 2V8 followed suit in the next race, crossing the finish line in 7:02.899 to earn its gold medal. The boat’s time was nearly eight seconds faster than the same Jacksonville boat that beat them in the time trials on Friday. “The 2V8 and 3V8 did a good job this weekend,” Sweeney said. “The 1V8 also race really hard against Old Dominion in the final. Old Dominion lost to Alabama by two-tenths of a second last week and Alabama beat us in Florida, so the result today was a nice step forward.” The Wildcats’ 1V4 was perfect on the weekend, winning both its time trial and the final to earn gold in the race. The boat opened competition on Friday with a time of 6:52.692, topping FIT (7:03.072) by just under 10 seconds. It matched its supremacy from Friday in Saturday’s final, earning the victory after crossing the finish line in 8:02.105. K-State returns to action in two weeks as it travels to Kansas City, Kansas, to compete against in-state rivals Kansas in the Dillon’s Sunflower Showdown.