Wildcats Ready for Rival Jayhawks in Kansas Cup

Allison Dorau

April 21, 2011

MANHATTAN, Kan. – The Kansas State rowing team looks to reclaim the Kansas Cup over in-state rival Kansas after losing the cup for the first time in five years last season. The Wildcats enter Saturday’s regatta with some momentum after successful showings at the San Diego Crew Classic and Southern Intercollegiate Rowing Association Championship Regatta.

The Wildcats will face the Jayhawks in the annual Kansas Cup on Wyandotte County Lake at 10 a.m. Saturday in a series of races for the team trophy.

The K-State coaching staff is looking forward to seeing more progress from its rowers as all the boats have improved throughout the season. Last week the 1st Novice 8 won gold at SIRAs while the 1st Varsity 4 and 1st Varsity 8 claimed bronze. This week head coach Patrick Sweeney said if the crews continue their trend of good performances thus far, the trophy will be within their reach.

“Due to the bad weather this week, we’re not expecting to see vast improvements in boat speed, but what we are looking for is a consolidation of good technique under race conditions,” Sweeney said.

Last year K-State won the 1st Varsity 8 race to earn eight points toward the team total, but it was not enough as KU won the other four races to get the overall win 12-8. This will be the second meeting between the two rivals this season after K-State dominated the annual Sunflower Showdown at Tuttle Creek Lake. The Wildcats won four of those five races by large margins in each to win the team trophy 17-3.

“At this point in the season, the crews have learned to race well. They know how to bring their race cadence up and implement their race plans,” Sweeney said. “Now it’s up to them to row technically sound. The added pressure of racing against KU will put the athletes to the test of holding good technique while performing their race plans in a particularly heated situation.”

Fans are welcome to watch the competition at Wyandotte County Lake on Saturday. To get to the viewing area from Interstate 70, take I-435N to the North 93rd Street exit (Exit 18). Continue south on 93rd to the beach shelter at the lake.