March 24, 2013
AUSTIN, Texas – After a week of practice on Lady Bird Lake, the Kansas State 1st Novice 8 had a dominant performance over the weekend at the Longhorn Invitational winning all four of its races in the second competition of the spring. The newcomers posted victories over Oklahoma, Iowa, San Diego and UCF to go 4-0 and give head coach Pat Sweeney and his staff something to continue to build on for the season.
“I’m pleased with the learning curve of our novices over the past couple weeks. The work of our coaches, having taught these athletes to row here at K-State, shows our system works,” Sweeney said. “Looking at the team’s current trajectory, it is clear we will continue to grow and progress.”
K-State closed the action on Lady Bird Lake well with four wins in five races on Sunday as the Wildcats left SMU far behind in three races. The 1st Varsity 4 bested SMU by 51 seconds and the 2nd Varsity 8 dominated by more than 30 seconds. K-State’s veterans in the 1st Varsity 8 defeated SMU by more than 16 seconds.
“It’s always good to finish with a number of wins but we must be realistic about our goals for the rest of the season,” Sweeney said. “We need to execute better, get mentally tougher and prepare ourselves to race harder.”
The Longhorn Invitational started off with a win for the Wildcats in the Novice 8 over conference rival Oklahoma by 17 seconds. OU would go on to best K-State in three other races after that.
On Saturday, K-State again got a great start to the day from the 1st Novice 8 with the commanding win over Iowa. K-State would later drop a 2nd Novice 4 race to Texas and fall in a close finish against Tulsa in the 1st Varsity 4 by half a second. The Wildcats would get revenge against Tulsa in the 2nd Varsity 8 in another close finish but fell in the 1st Varsity 8.
Saturday’s afternoon session on the water put K-State up against San Diego with the 1st Novice gaining a win while the other boats battled in a series of close finishes.
“The team trained well at the camp here prior to the Longhorn Invitational, definitely improving with the water time,” Sweeney said. “In the racing this weekend we pinpointed some of the weaknesses we need to improve during the season – technique and race toughness.”
The Wildcats return to the water next weekend as they will take on their in-state rival Kansas Jayhawks in the Sunflower Showdown. Action gets underway Saturday morning on Wyandotte County Lake as the Wildcats and Jayhawks will battle in five races. Last year, the Wildcats swept the Sunflower Showdown 20-0 winning all five races.
K-State and KU met two weeks ago at the OU Invitational with the Jayhawks winning four of five races. With the spring break training camp in Austin and the added experience from the Longhorn Invitational, K-State hopes to reverse those results this time against KU and retain the trophy in the annual dual.