After three consecutive seasons of prevailing in the Sunflower Showdown, the Kansas Rowing team suffered a defeat to Kansas State on Saturday at Wyandotte County Lake in Kansas City, Kansas.
Celebrating their senior day, it marked the Jayhawks’ first loss to their in-state rival in four years.
Although the meet did not go as planned, Kansas started off strong, with the First Varsity Eight boat gearing the best finish of the day at 6:21.7, nearly four seconds ahead of the Wildcats.
“As a boat, we came off the line really strong, we pushed through the whole race and then sprinted like we always do,” said redshirt-senior Margret Winter.
However, the Jayhawks would fail to come out on top in the four remaining races, with the Second Varsity Eight’s loss the largest, over 12 seconds behind their rivals, finishing at 6:40.88. Yet, the remaining boats seemed to maintain a consistency, falling between six and eight seconds behind.
As the First and Second Varsity Fours respectively came in at 7:14.72 and 7:41.47, the Third Varsity Eight saw two Jayhawk boats compete, captivated at a 6:49.57 finish.
“We knew what we wanted to do today to show our strength and our progress through the season,” Winter said.
After completing nine days of winter training in Tampa, Florida, right before the spring semester would begin, the Jayhawks sandwiched their spring break with two out of state scrimmages against Tulsa and Indiana.
Entering April, their busy month of racing began, with four meets in three different states, they finished with the Sunflower Showdown in Kansas City on Saturday.
“It was a great day of racing with our in-state rival,” said Kansas coach Carrie Cook-Callen. “We got a little out-raced by the Wildcats today, but we’ll get back to work these next two weeks to be at our best for the Big 12 Championships.”
After their first weekend in five weeks, the Jayhawks will travel to Oak Ridge, Tennessee, for the Big 12 Championship on May 12-13, where they finished fourth as a team in the conference and sixth against the participating schools.
The rowing season will then conclude two weeks later, with the NCAA Championship during Memorial Day Weekend in Sarasota, Florida from May 25-27.
— Edited by Britt Redmond