March 8, 2012
MANHATTAN, Kan. – The Kansas State rowing team is set to begin its 2012 spring season this weekend when the Wildcats head south to the OU Invitational for three days of action. K-State will take on teams from across the region and a few familiar Big 12 and Conference USA foes in Kansas, SMU, Tulsa and host Oklahoma as well as Central Oklahoma, Oklahoma City University and Creighton.
Head Coach Patrick Sweeney is ready to see his team get on the water and gauge where his Wildcats are at in their training to start the season. The OU Invitational begins the process of fine tuning the lineups that will give the Wildcats the best chance at success in 2012.
“I’m looking to see where we’re at. I think the team is fit and strong,” Sweeney said. “Now we have to start putting the jigsaw puzzle together to find where they all fit, and I think that’s what OU and Texas are for on our team.”
Racing starts at 3:40 p.m. Friday on the Oklahoma River in Oklahoma City. K-State will field one boat in each of the five events: 1st Varsity 8, 2nd Varsity 8, Varsity 4, Novice 8 and Novice 4. Each boat will race against four different opponents over the three days of action.
The Wildcats have an experienced 1st Varsity 8 leading the way in 2012, and Sweeney said he also is pleased with the strength in the younger crews.
“The team is physically in a good position, and we have so many seniors on the first boat I feel pretty confident in them. We’re not teaching them something new every week. They know what to do and I know they will go out and do it,” Sweeney said. “With that many seniors on the first boat, that makes the second boat that much better. This is the strongest team we’ve had from top to bottom.”
The Wildcats will return home following the OU Invitational to prepare for the Longhorn Invitational next weekend in Austin, Texas.