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Wildcats Prepared for Longhorn Invitational


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March 20, 2013

MANHATTAN, Kan. – After opening its spring season two weeks ago at the OU Invitational, the K-State rowing team has been spending spring break in Austin, Texas, practicing on the water and preparing for this weekend’s Longhorn Invitational. The Wildcats posted five wins during head-to-head competition on the Oklahoma River to start the season and now will face a number of strong teams as years past on Lady Bird Lake.

“We are very thankful for the ongoing opportunity to train on UT’s water over spring break each year. We can already see improvement having been consistently on the water here while weather conditions back in Manhattan are still inconsistent this early in the season,” Head Coach Pat Sweeney said. “I am pleased with the work the team has done this week, and look forward to testing our crews against another group of good programs.”

Racing is set to begin on Lady Bird Lake on Friday afternoon with K-State’s first opponent being the Oklahoma Sooners. The Wildcats did not face the Sooners during the OU Invitational. They will tangle in four races as K-State will not field a 2nd Novice 8 or 2nd Varsity 4.

During Saturday’s morning session, K-State will face Iowa in the 1st Novice 8 and Texas in the 2nd Novice 4. The other three Wildcat boats will match up against Tulsa. Slated for the afternoon session will be San Diego for the majority of K-State’s boats and another race with Texas in the 2N4. Sunday’s race schedule will be determined by results from the previous days.

Last year at the Longhorn Invitational, K-State changed lineups a few times during the competition and had some solid performances. The 1st Novice 8 gained valuable experience and came away with three wins in four races.

“With three hard races under our belt from the OU Invitational under less than favorable preparation and weather conditions, it will be good to see how far we can go in this next step of our racing schedule,” Sweeney said. “Our boats are matched up against four solid programs, so the weekend will be a key way to toughen up and get our season really underway.

“That said we will still be changing lineups throughout the early stages of our season while still looking for the optimal combination that will give us the best results possible.”

The Longhorn Invitational will be televised this year on a tape delayed basis on the Longhorn Network. LHN is planning on airing every race of this year’s regatta with four three-hour shows, one for each racing session beginning April 13 and running through April 15. Alex Loeb will call play by play with Jeff Mork providing color commentary and Ahmad Brooks reporting.

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