Wildcats Headed to C-USA Championship

Megan Murray

May 10, 2012

Championship Central

Heat Sheets

MANHATTAN, Kan. – This weekend will mark the final scheduled event for the Kansas State rowing team as the Wildcats are headed to the Conference USA Rowing Championship in Oak Ridge, Tenn. Action begins Saturday on Melton Hill Lake with the Wildcats and eight other teams vying for the title and a spot at the NCAA Championship. This year’s championship is sure to be another tight battle after the Texas Longhorns edged the Tennessee Lady Vols by just six points last year. Two weeks ago at the Big 12 Championship, Texas and Oklahoma fought it out in a close finish as well with the Longhorns claiming the title by only one point.

This year’s championship is a chance for the Wildcats to show how much they have improved throughout the season and since last season’s sixth-place finish. Head Coach Patrick Sweeney said he is looking forward to getting back on the water against these conference foes and seeing where his Wildcats measure up.

“The season went well showing the crews gaining speed week to week,” Sweeney said. “Now we must see if we can finish off with another step up.”

The first race is scheduled for 9 a.m. Saturday with preliminary heats in five different races. K-State will field boats in four of the races. Following the preliminary heats in the morning session, teams will be divided into petite and grand finals based on placement in preliminaries and the afternoon finals session slated to start at 2:20 p.m. Awards will be presented following the competition as well.

K-State and the rest of the field should be familiar with the facility in Oak Ridge as a majority of the teams compete on Melton Hill Lake on a regular basis for the Southern Intercollegiate Rowing Association Championships and other events. Sweeney said the success his team had at SIRAs earlier this season in winning three medals and qualifying for grand finals in all four races entered gives his Wildcats confidence heading into this weekend’s championship event.

“I feel confident with our final lineups which have been based on the whole year’s performances and including late-season performances from our youngsters,” Sweeney said. “It’s always an unknown with this regatta coming after the university’s finals week. The final prep while the students are under academic pressure plus windy Kansas spring weather can throw us a curve ball, but we expect to arrive in Oak Ridge focused on our last race and ready to do well.”

Competition will be strong at the C-USA Championship as Tennessee is currently just outside the Top 20 of the CRCA/US Rowing Coaches Poll as the top team listed among others receiving votes with 45 points. Texas is receiving two points, and Central Florida along with Kansas both have one vote. K-State swept the Jayhawks earlier this season to retain the Kansas Cup winning all five races. The Wildcats also placed ahead of KU at the Big 12 Championship two weeks ago holding the tiebreaker over their in-state rival.

Points will be awarded for placement in each race with the highest value being given to the Varsity 8 race. Last season, Texas won the championship with 48 points. Tennessee was close at the Longhorns’ heels with 42 points. Oklahoma finished third with 32 points and UCF was fourth with 31. K-State finished sixth at last year’s event scoring a total of 16 points.

Fans can keep up with the action by following @ConferenceUSA1 and @LadyVol_Rowing on Twitter with updates coming throughout the competition.

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

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

C: Kaitlyn Arrow
S: Natalie Greene
3: Brittany Leathers
2: Justine Walsh
B: Brittany Odle

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