Wildcat Rowers Ready for Competitive Field at SIRAs

The 1V8 celebrates its win over KU.

April 18, 2013

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As the season progresses, each regatta the Kansas State rowing team competes at gets tougher and tougher. This weekend, the Wildcats will face strong competition at the Southern Intercollegiate Rowing Association Championship. Traditionally, this regatta brings some of the top crews to compete on Melton Hill Lake in Oak Ridge, Tenn.

In an exciting development, this year’s SIRAs will be webcast live online. US Rowing announced on Tuesday that it will be broadcasting a number of events live on its You Tube channel, and the first regatta to be aired will be SIRAs. The webcasts are free of charge and can be found by visiting youtube.com/user/usrowingorg.

SIRAs will feature six-lane racing, which the Wildcats have only competed in once so far this season. The Wildcats did see some success at the San Diego Crew Classic two weeks ago in this format, and K-State Head Coach Patrick Sweeney is ready to see his boats get back on the water and face this type and level of competition.

The Wildcats have four boats slated to race, three of which feature new lineups. In the 1st Varsity 8, K-State will face Virginia Tech, LSU, Central Oklahoma, Georgia Tech and Georgia in its heat. K-State has faced Central Oklahoma earlier this season with wins by the 1st Varsity 8, 2nd Varsity 8 and Varsity 4.

“We have made changes to all the lineups except the Varsity 4, so it will be good to see how much increased speed the new combinations give us,” Sweeney said. “At this stage halfway through the season, it’s kind of like graduation for our novices. They have gotten their racing legs under them now, and we have decided to move them up into the varsity ranks in preparation for the championship end of the season.”

K-State has entered two boats in the Women’s JV 8 race. The 2nd and 3rd Varsity 8 for the Wildcats are currently slated to take on Jacksonville, Central Oklahoma, Purdue and George Washington in a straight final on Sunday, but pending race entries may allow for heats on Saturday. The official race schedule will be determined by approximately 6 p.m. eastern Friday at the latest.

The Varsity 4 is coming off a victory in the petite final of the San Diego Crew Classic two weeks ago and a win over Kansas in the Sunflower Showdown just prior to that. The Wildcats will face Ohio, James Madison, Northwestern State, Tampa and Florida in their heat.

SIRAs has been a regatta where the Wildcats have performed well in the past. Last year, K-State came away with the 2nd Varsity 8 winning gold in the Women’s Junior Varsity 8 competition. All four of K-State’s boats advanced to their respective A Finals last year with the Varsity 4 claiming silver and the Novice 8 winning bronze while the 1st Varsity 8 took fourth place.

This weekend’s regatta will be the final competition before championship events for the Wildcats. The Big 12 Conference Championship is scheduled for May 4 on Wyandotte County Lake before the Wildcats return to Tennessee for Conference USA Championship on May 18.

K-State Race Schedule (times eastern)
10:52 a.m. - 1st Varsity 4 (Top 3 advance to A/B Semifinals)
12:31 p.m. - 1st Varsity 8 (Top 3 advance to A/B Semifinals)
2:35 p.m. - 2nd and 3rd Varsity 8 ((Top 3 advance to A Final, last place to B Final)