Rowing Finishes Sixth at C-USA Championships
May 12, 2012
OAK RIDGE, Tenn. – The Kansas State rowing team concluded its season on Saturday with a sixth-place finish at the Conference USA Rowing Championship on Melton Hill Lake. The Wildcats finished with 21 points, five more than last season’s championship regatta, to finish ahead of Alabama, Kansas and SMU.
It was the 1st Varsity 8 that gave the Wildcats the biggest boost again this weekend as the crew qualified for the grand final and finished sixth. In the final race for Wildcats Traci Smiley, co-captain Hanna Wiltfong, Anna Young, Nicole Burdiek, Ali Peters and coxswain Weatherly Butler, K-State crossed the line in 7:07.64 to tally 12 points toward the team total. Smiley was also honored by the conference coaches as she was selected to the All-Conference USA Team.
“It was nice to see the 1V8 make it into the grand final going up against so many good crews,” head coach Pat Sweeney said. “They did well, racing hard and leading the way for the team.“
The 2nd Varsity 8 finished seventh to score six points for the Wildcats as it also was the last race for co-captain Amanda Weishaar and senior Marissa Campbell. K-State won the petite final with a time of 7:08.50. During preliminary heats in the morning session, they just missed out on clinching the qualifying spot they held before losing momentum in the last 500 due to a technical error.
It was in the 1st Varsity 4 race, the last one for senior Brittany Leathers, that the Wildcats scored their remaining three points. A seventh-place finish overall from the win in the petite final gave K-State the points. The Wildcats pulled away from Alabama and SMU as they bested the Crimson Tide by nearly six seconds.
Although the novice 8 race did not score any points to reflect the NCAA championship regatta scoring system, it was in this race that the Wildcats showed the most improvement this weekend. They rowed easily in the heat, and then took KU in the final crossing the finish line in 7:16.35. The Wildcats stepped it up for the final to row through KU and hold them off at the line. The Jayhawks were just 0.57 behind the Wildcats.
As Sweeney reflects on how his team closed the season, he is hopeful for the future. The Wildcats improved throughout the year, and the younger rowers showed growth. Now the team must continue to make progress despite losing a number of key members to graduation this year.
“The result was better than in the past, so the weekend was a success in that respect,” Sweeney said. “But our overall placing also shows that the team as a whole has to make the next step up in the future. Luckily we have a young team with potential to do so, but they will have to pick up where the departing seniors have left off. The group of seniors going out this year has done a good job raising the bar for this team, and now it’s up to our returning athletes to continue that trend.”
Conference USA Championship Standings
C-USA Coach of the Year
C-USA Rowing Athlete of the Year
C-USA Newcomer of the Year