AUSTIN, Texas The Kansas State rowers faced a difficult task on the opening day of the spring season, as the Wildcats fell to Duke and Wisconsin at the Longhorn Invitational in Austin, Texas, on Friday. K-State finished short of the 19th-ranked Badgers to start the competition and completed the night with a head-to-head battle with the Blue Devils.
“For our first race of the season we had rather good technique in all of the boats,” head coach Pat Sweeney said. “It was nice to see that, as well as that our kids really went for it and did not hold back. We put down a good first performance that we can build on. Quite frankly, with not much water time compared to our foes, we are just not as advanced yet. This is evident as we under-rated our competitors by two to three strokes per minute in each race. This weekend is about gaining race experience and advancing our level of skill. Hopefully our athletes will make strides with each race.”
The Varsity 8+ boats closed the night at the Longhorn Invitational with a dual against Duke. K-State lost the two races by 10 seconds or less. In the First Varsity 8+ race, K-State had a strong first 1000 meters and maintained contact with Duke until the last 750 meters, when the Wildcats were out-sprinted to the tape. The Second Varsity 8+ also did a good job of battling with Duke. The two boats ran even through the first 500 meters, and K-State made it difficult for Duke to pull away. The Cats were able to take back a few seats in the third 500 meters, but in the end Duke held off the charge.
The First Novice 8+ was in the only three-boat race of the day, as KSU faced Wisconsin's Second Varsity Lightweight 8+, and Duke's Third Varsity 8+. The Badgers opened up a good lead and never looked back. Meanwhile, the K-State 1N8+ worked to gain a four-seat lead over the Blue Devils by the half-way mark. Duke put on a bit of a charge, but the Wildcats were able to respond and even increase their margin as the Cats crossed the line 5.3 seconds ahead of the Duke 3V8+.
K-State will continue the spring opener on Saturday with additional races versus Wisconsin in the morning session. During the afternoon, the Wildcats will take on Central Florida and Iowa.
A complete recap of the Longhorn Invitational will be posted at www.kstatesports.com following the completion of Saturday’s races.
Longhorn Invitational Results
Friday, March 21
Second Varsity 8+: 1. Wisconsin (7:25.0), 2. K-State (8:18.0)
First Novice 8+: 1. Wisconsin 2VLtw (7:25.1), 2. K-State 1N8+ (7:41.8), 3. Duke 3V8+ (7:47.1)
Second Varsity 8+: 1. Duke (7:18.3), 2. K-State (7:26.3)
First Varsity 8+: 1. Duke (7:12.0), 2. K-State (7:22.0)
Longhorn Invitational Schedule
Saturday, March 22 (races 8-10:30 a.m.)
All boats: K-State vs. Wisconsin
Saturday, March 22 (races 4-6:30 p.m.)
1V8, 2V8, 1N8: K-State vs. Central Florida
2N8: K-State vs. Iowa
Sunday, March 23 (races 8-10:30 a.m.)
All boats: K-State vs. Iowa