Wildcats Open Season at Tulsa

MANHATTAN, Kan. - K-State Women's Rowing kicks off its 2015 spring campaign with head-to-head competition against the University of Tulsa on the Verdigris River. Training for the past week in Tulsa, Oklahoma, for their annual Spring Camp, the Wildcats will send out five boats - 1st Varsity 8, 2nd Varsity 8, 3rd Varsity 8, 4th Varsity 8 and 1st Varsity 4 - this Saturday, March 21, to wrap up their visit.

This weekend's action will mark the second-straight season K-State has faced Tulsa in spring season-opening competition. Last year the formerly Conference USA, now-Big 12 foes went head-to-head at the Longhorn Invitational on Lady Bird Lake with the Wildcats notching victories in the 1st Novice 8, 2nd Varsity 4 and 2nd Varsity 8 races.

With the early part of the season providing time for head coach Patrick Sweeney and his staff to figure out the most productive boatings, he said the progress so far throughout camp has been encouraging.

"It's obviously early, but right now those boats are looking good and when they're rowing I'm really happy with what it looks like - the speed, the flow," Sweeney said. If they can perform like they are in training, then come race day I'm pretty confident they will have success."

Sweeney highlighted the top two 8s and the 1V4, in particular, as making considerable strides - ones that he also hopes will hold true through this weekend.

"The first and second 8s, I'm really pleased with where they're at," Sweeney said. "The first part of camp has gone really well and those two boats, I feel, have been moving along quite nicely. The 1V8 [which returns six of its eight rowers from last season] seems to be clicking - we'll obviously get better as the season goes on, but I'm happy with where they are at right now. You still have to make improvements, but it's looking positive so far. The [2V8] also seems to be coming together nicely and has been going well.

"For the [1V4], we got a new combination and it looks like it could be good. Now that's going to need a little bit more development, but it's very strong so far. And I think if it clicks with everything going right over the second half of camp and everyone coming together, they have the opportunity to be a very competitive group."

As for the latter two 8s, Sweeney said both boats are comprised of this season's batch of novice rowers combined with a few of the team's more experienced personnel, which makes finding the right groupings at this stage slightly more challenging. Though he mentioned the 3V8 as potentially coming together for this weekend.

"With the 3V8 and 4V8, we're still moving that lot around and trying to find the best pairings," Sweeney said. "What we've got with the 3V8, it's really moving quite well so, it's hard to tell right now, but if everything gets moving correctly and they click towards the end of this week, they'll be in good shape as well."

The Wildcats are set to get racing on Saturday at 9 a.m. with the 4V8s and continue throughout the morning, concluding with the 1V8s. For up-to-the-minute results, follow @kstate_gameday on Twitter under #KStateROW.