K-State Strong in Preseason Action in OKC

OKLAHOMA CITY - K-State Women's Rowing kicked off its spring season with preseason action against Oklahoma on the Oklahoma River. Squaring off against last season's Big 12 Champion, the Wildcats and Sooners took part in a joint practice session during the morning before moving onto scrimmage action in the afternoon.

In total, K-State had 41 student-athletes in action compromising five boats - 1st Varsity 8, 2nd Varsity 8, 3rd Varsity 8, 4th Varsity 8 and 1st Varsity 4.

Head coach Patrick Sweeney was happy with the team's showing, mentioning it was the first time the team has practiced on the water in over two months.

"It was a worthwhile weekend," Sweeney said. "Just getting on the water is a big plus. Even not being on the water for two months, the boats did not look technically that bad. Obviously you don't have boat speed, the aggressive drive in the boat that comes with mileage in the water since it's different than rowing in the tanks, but they looked good. The basic technique is good."

Sweeney added gaining boat speed is the next major step for the Wildcats in preparation for the spring regular season.

"Boat speed is gained by racing side-by-side on the water and getting acclimated to that movement," Sweeney said. "It's like going to another speed in the water. We call it boat speed. We have good technique, but we're not there yet with boat speed. That's hopefully something we'll get with more time on the water. We looked good though, kept pace with Oklahoma. I think both programs benefited from today.

"I'm pleased with the effort overall."

Along with the friendly competition in the afternoon, the Wildcats and Sooners focused on technique-based workouts in the morning, including controlled workouts that focused on stroke rate in short timed sessions.

"We changed it up for the 1V8 and 2V8," Sweeney said. "Instead of a 2K, we did shorter, higher pace work and worked race starts - practicing coming off the line. Then with the 3V8, 4V8 and 1V4, we went to the 2K format since those are younger athletes. We wanted them to gain experience competing in that race distance so they understand what to expect later this month."

K-State will now shift its focus to Spring Camp in Tulsa, Oklahoma next weekend. The week-long camp culminates with the Wildcats' season opener against the Golden Hurricane on Saturday, March 21. For more information on K-State's upcoming slate of action, visit www.k-statesports.com.