Wildcats Ready for C-USA Championship

Marissa Campbell

May 12, 2011

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MANHATTAN, Kan. – The Kansas State rowing team is set to close its season at the Conference USA Rowing Championship this weekend when the Wildcats will take on seven of the eight other teams in the conference. Alabama will not travel to this event as the Crimson Tide is recovering from the trauma of recent tornado damage in Tuscaloosa. Thankfully there was no damage to the team’s facilities and no injury to any team members, but coaches thought it best not to compete. Action gets underway at 9 a.m. Saturday on Melton Hill Lake in Oak Ridge, Tenn., with preliminary heats. Petite and Grand Finals will begin at 2:20 p.m. and a champion will be crowned following the Varsity 8 race.

K-State head coach Patrick Sweeney said he is anxious to get back on the water after two weeks to prepare following the Big 12 Championship that saw the Wildcats finish third.

“After a satisfying season that has shown good overall improvement of the team, I am looking forward to seeing how our athletes rise to their final challenge,” Sweeney said. “We didn’t perform to our highest potential at the Big 12 Championship, but the boats appear to be increasing in speed as we head to our final competition.”

The Wildcats will field boats in four of the five races, competing in the Varsity 8, 2nd Varsity 8, Varsity 4 and Novice 8. The competition will be strong as the Texas Longhorns currently stand at No. 15 in the nation in the latest CRCA/US Rowing Coaches Poll. Tennessee and Oklahoma are receiving votes. Sweeney said the strength of the conference makes this a good championship event because it gives his team a chance to once again gauge where it stands and as a marker to surpass next season.

Points will be awarded for placement in each race with the highest value being given to the Varsity 8 race. Last season, Tennessee won the championship with 52 points. Central Florida and Texas were close behind with 44 and 42 points, respectively. Fans can keep up with the action by following @ConferenceUSA1 on Twitter with updates coming throughout the competition.