Rowing Springs Forward With Focused Mindset
MANHATTAN, Kan. Emerging fresh from winter practices, the Kansas State women's rowing team is ready for the more competitive challenges that the spring season brings. The hard work and dedication from practicing ten times a week will be tested.
Second-year head coach Patrick Sweeney is pleased with the progress that he sees. Out of the winter break, the team came away with less injuries and more time on the water with the mild winter.
"The team has progressed in their performance of what they are able to do when asked to do it," Sweeney said. "Some individuals have really done a good job and have really stepped up. They took themselves from the second boat and put themselves into the first."
The program, as a whole, has risen in the short time that Sweeney has been head coach. He sees K-State closing the gap on conference teams, as well as teams in the Central Region. Last season, the First Varsity Eight boat turned in a first-place finish at the Southern IRA's and a 10th-place finish at the Central Region Championships.
"Last year, the seniors really took the bull by the horns and said 'We're not going to let this program drown' and they turned it around," Sweeney said. "They are turning it around and taking it places. It (the program) is heading in the right direction."
With a young roster that will return many of its top rowers, Sweeney expects to see the team step up another level in the future. But, he says it is up to them on how far.
"The spring season answers the question of 'Have we done everything right?'" Sweeney said. "It is our finals. We have midterms, and we have finals. It will tell us if we have done our job."
The Wildcats will open the spring season on March 18-20 at the Longhorn Invitational in Austin, Texas.