Wildcats Open Season at Longhorn Invitational

Hanna Wiltfong

March 16, 2011

MANHATTAN, Kan. – The Kansas State rowing team is set to begin its spring sprint season as the Wildcats head south to compete in the Longhorn Invitational on Lady Bird Lake in Austin, Texas. The field will again be filled with some of the top teams in the nation and a number of familiar foes for the Wildcats from Conference USA. K-State will take to the water for three days of action on the lake.

Head coach Patrick Sweeney said he is looking forward to getting on the water for competition.

“The team has laid the groundwork with a good strong winter training starting with the January camp, which went very well. They look to be in good physical shape,” Sweeney said. “I would say this has been the best winter training the team has had to date. However, having had limited water time leading up to this first competition, it will be interesting to see how we are against teams who train on the water year round.”

Last season at the Longhorn Invitational, the Wildcats battled poor weather conditions on the lake with high winds making it difficult for all teams in the competition. One of the highlights of last year’s regatta was the commanding win over Louisville in the 1st Novice 8 race with K-State defeating the Cardinals by multiple lengths.

The Wildcats are set to take on San Diego on Friday in four races and again take on Louisville on Saturday morning followed by action against Central Florida in the afternoon session. K-State will close the regatta against Iowa on Sunday morning.

Sweeney said he and his staff will use this weekend’s opening action to make early assessments of the team’s status in training and use it as a spring board heading into the 2011 season.

“Finally getting on the water in Texas to race, combined with our intensive spring break camp the following week, will give us the opportunity to add further solid preparation for our upcoming schedule,” Sweeney added. “It will be a chance to consolidate crew selection and also make strides in narrowing the technical gap between ourselves and our opponents.”

K-State will be back in action April 2 and 3 when the Wildcats again head to west for the San Diego Crew Classic that traditionally brings in some of the top teams from the West Coast both collegiate and club and all age groups. The Wildcats have seen success in the past at the Classic where the 1st Varsity 8 finished third in the Women’s Collegiate Varsity SeaWorld Cal Cup in 2009.