Wildcats Win Three Medals at SIRAs

Marissa Campbell

April 22, 2012

OAK RIDGE, Tenn. – Heading into the Southern Intercollegiate Rowing Association Championships this weekend, Kansas State 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. He 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 seven 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 2V rowed a strong race,” Sweeney said. “George Washington pushed us down the course, but in the last 500 meters our boat opened up and won by clear water.”

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.

“Our novices were in fourth coming down the course and then pushed through the last quarter to earn a medal,” Sweeney said. “It is evident they are missing the speed of the rowers that were moved up to the 2V, but it was still a good result and good race execution.”

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 four 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 Varsity 4 was an interesting boat to watch this weekend,” Sweeney said. “They did not row well in their heat, but made improvements in the semifinal and went on to perform quite well in the final. They started the race down and then steadily worked through the field all the way down the course to come in second.”

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.

“The 1V’s race was a close one,” Sweeney said. “There were less than two boat lengths between first and fifth place in the final. They rowed really well but were just beaten by quicker rowers.

“Overall, I was quite pleased with the rowing and how the team handled the weekend. It was good to see that we haven’t slowed down coming into the tail end of the season. It was a good performance by all.”

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.

K-State Results
Women’s Novice 8
Preliminary: 7:32.00 – 1st place, advance to A/B Semifinal
Semifinal: 7:29.70 – 3rd place, advance to A Final
A Final: 7:11.12 – 3rd place

Women’s Varsity 4
Preliminary: 7:52.57 – 2nd place, advance to Semifinal
Semifinal: 7:41.69 – 2nd place, advance to A Final
A Final: 7:35.59 – 2nd place

Women’s Junior Varsity 8 (2V8)
Preliminary: 7:06.85 – 2nd place
A Final: 6:50.30 – 1st place

Women’s Varsity 8
Preliminary: 6:50.00 – 1st place, advance to A Semifinal
Semifinal: 6:50.29 – 2nd place, advance to A Final
A Final: 6:40.93 – 4th place

K-State Boatings
C: Weatherly Butler
S: Traci Smiley
7: Hanna Wiltfong
6: Allison Dorau
5: Anna Young
4: Megan Muray
3: Amanda Weishaar
2: Nicole Burdiek
B: Ali Peters

C: Hillary Schartz
S: Aly Bronder
7: Emily Elliot
6: Adria Ley
5: Abby Weaver
4: Kris Smith
3: Danielle Glynn
2: Marissa Campbell
B: Hayley Harvey

C: Kaitlyn Arrow
S: Nicole Stuckey
3: Lauren Schumaker
2: Justine Walsh
B: Lea Hauldren

C: Myriah Smith
S: Jennifer Smisek
7: Lindsay Smith
6: Elizabeth DeMars
5: Lisa Angell
4: Lacey Reifschneider
3: Allison Tuxhorn
2: Ally Franken
B: Korinn Card