Wildcats Finish 3rd at San Diego Crew Classic

Hanna Wiltfong

April 3, 2011


SAN DIEGO, Calif. – The Kansas State rowing team made big strides this weekend in finishing third in the top collegiate race of the weekend at the annual San Diego Crew Classic. All three of the Wildcat boats competing over the weekend performed well and made improvements on the water much to the liking of head coach Patrick Sweeney.

“It is obvious that all the boats have increased in speed over the last two weeks since racing in Texas,” Sweeney said.

On Saturday, K-State’s 1st Varsity won its heat to qualify for the Grand Final of the SeaWorld Cal Cup.

“The 1st Varsity posted the fastest time of the three heats, beating the Stanford lightweights who were national champions last year,” Sweeney said. “With Tulsa and Alabama winning their respective heats in similar times, it was evident that the last race would come down to a narrow margin.”

In the final, the Wildcats got off to a solid start, leading the field over the first 1,000 meters. In the third 500 meters, Alabama crept out to a half length lead and Tulsa moved up to be neck and neck with the Cats, catching them by a deck in the last few meters. Only half a length separated K-State’s third-place finish from Alabama’s win, making for the tight finish Sweeney had predicted after Saturday’s heats.

Sweeney said he was pleased with the performance of the 1st Varsity overall and with the improvement in stroke rate, but added there is still room to be sharper. The Wildcats have two weeks to prepare for the SIRAs, and Sweeney said he is confident the growth will continue with more practice.

The 2nd Varsity claimed fifth in its first race of the weekend on Saturday and then had another strong showing for K-State finishing second in the C final of the Women’s Collegiate 2V competition. The Wildcats rowed hard but were unable to hold off a late charge from San Diego as the Toreros surpassed K-State in the final 200 meters. Sweeney said the group of Wildcats also showed signs of improvement based on the teams they were beating at the 2V level, but he will look at the seating order in the boat as a possible way to get stronger.

K-State narrowly missed having two of its three boats qualify for the Grand Final in their respective events as the Novice 8 crew was just edged out of a spot in the Grand Final down the final stretch of its preliminary heat of the Women’s Collegiate Novice race. K-State finished third in its heat when Stanford closed the gap and slipped past the Wildcats in the last 200 meters, robbing K-State of its shot at the Grand Final. The Wildcats posted the fifth fastest time in the heats showing their potential, but their inexperience at the sprint enabled Stanford to make the late push.

Despite the disappointment of just missing out on the Grand Final, the K-State Novice 8 went on to dominate its race Saturday night in the Women’s Collegiate Novice Petite Final. Rowing through Southern California midway through the race the Wildcats went on to win the Petite Final by nearly three seconds.

The Wildcats have two weeks to prepare for SIRAs. Sweeney said in the initial two weeks of the season, the team has improved dramatically and is in a strong position to continue the trend. K-State will again face some hot competition at the SIRAs in Oak Ridge, Tenn.

Women’s Collegiate Varsity SeaWorld Cup Heat A
1: K-State, 6:46.10; 2: Stanford LW, 6:48.29; 3: San Diego State, 6:53.96; 4: Drexel, 6:55.45; 5: Loyola, 7:06.55; 6: Santa Clara, 7:11.96

Women’s Collegiate 2V Jackie Ann Stitt Hungness Trophy Heat C
1: Washington, 6:40.74; 2: UCLA, 6:46.91; 3: Alabama, 6:52.70; 4: Oregon State, 6:54.25; 5: K-State, 7:05.29; 6: SMU, 7:15.57; 7: San Diego State, 7:27.05

Women’s Collegiate Novice Laurel V. Korholz Perpetual Trophy Heat A
1: Washington, 7:02.00; 2: Stanford, 7:14.49; 3: K-State, 7:15.31; 4: San Diego, 7:34.47; 5: OCC, 7:58.55; 6: Mills, 8:10.14

Women’s Collegiate 2V 3rd
1: San Diego, 6:52.30; 2: K-State, 6:59.28; 3: Bates, 6:59.65; 4: Tulsa, 7:01.61; 5: Georgetown, 7:02.95; 6: SMU, 7:11.43

Women’s Collegiate Novice Petite
1: K-State, 6:54.70; 2: Southern California, 6:57.29; 3: Alabama, 7:06.97; 4: San Diego, 7:10.58; 5: San Diego State, 7:17.29; 6: OCC, 7:20.72; 7: UC Santa Barbara, 7:25.03

Women’s Collegiate Varsity Grand Final SeaWorld Cup
1: Alabama, 6:56.90; 2: Tulsa, 6:58.12; 3: K-State, 6:59.41; 4: Stanford LW, 7:00.59; 5: Georgetown, 7:05.90; 6: Sacramento State, 7:05.91