Wildcats Open Fall Campaign in OKC

MANHATTAN, Kan. – The Kansas State women’s rowing team travels to Oklahoma City to race in the Head of the Oklahoma on Saturday. Held on the Oklahoma River, the race is the first of two competitions that the Wildcats will participate in during the fall season. 

This weekend’s races will be head races, or long distance races. The teams will launch one after another and will race against the clock rather than against other boats. 

Head coach Patrick Sweeney believes this race will give the team an opportunity to face other competition that they have not yet faced in training. 

“It gives the kids a chance to get away, see other people, see where they are at and see if they have to work harder,” Sweeney said. “That sort of stuff. That is really what we are working on at this time.

Most of the girls will be doubling up. They will race in the morning in one event and then in afternoon they will race in a second event. That is not normal. We are trying to get as many girls two races if possible so they can get more water time.”

K-State will also use this weekend’s competition to see where the team as a whole is at despite losing some pieces from its top two boats.

“I do not like to use the term rebuilding year because I think that is a cop-out on the coaches,” said Sweeney. “The team is in a slight transition. Two of the girls graduated from the first boat, four of the kids graduated from the second boat and our top coxswain graduated.” 

With so many spots to fill, the Wildcats will look to their younger rowers to use the fall to prepare for upcoming competitions in the spring season. 

“We are not going to move a lot of those youngsters up until the spring,” said Sweeney. “Really, it is a bit of a mix up. It is not going to be the same as what we have got in the spring. It is going to develop as the fall goes on. Really, this is going to be looked as a part of training.”

However, Sweeney believes that the veteran rowers have stepped up and will ultimately help this team succeed. 

“We have a group of older girls that have trained really well over the summer,” Sweeney said. “They have come back in a good place. They are moving really well. I am really confident that by the time we get to the spring they should be in a really good position.”

Races are set to begin late Saturday morning and continue into the afternoon. 

For the latest on K-State women’s rowing, follow @kstatesports on Twitter using the hashtag #KStateROW or on Facebook.