SAN DIEGO, Calif. The Kansas State women’s rowing team closed out competition at the 33rd annual San Diego Crew Classic with a program-best finish in the Women’s Cal Cup race Sunday afternoon on Mission Bay.
With a mostly underclassmen-experienced boat, the First Varsity Eight squad comprised of coxswain Claire Johnson, Megan Hauver, Kaci Williams, Alexis Johnson, Larissa Kesler, Bjai Rice, Jennifer Flannigan, Heather Hoffman and Jamie Holt, finished four-tenths of a second (7:08.58) behind Miami (7:05.30) to claim second-place honors followed by Saint Joseph’s (7:10.87) in third. It marked K-State’s best finish ever for the 1V8+ at the Crew Classic since finishing fourth in both the 2000-01 and 2001-02 seasons.
“They (First Varsity Eight) rowed really well today and I’m very pleased with how they performed,” Kansas State head coach Patrick Sweeney said. “It’s the best race they have had this season and they really put together a good performance, especially against an experienced Miami boat comprised of three Australians and two Canadians. They were able to get in there and fight the whole way through the race.”
The First Novice Eight posted similar results placing fifth (7:13.25) in the grand final of the Women’s Collegiate Novice race, against tough competition from Pac-10 Conference and national powers in Cal, Texas, Stanford, Oregon State and UCLA. For the first time since 2000-01, K-State sent a Novice squad to the nation’s largest six-lane regatta and turned in yet another program-best finish in the race for the 1N8+.
“The First Novice Eight raced some of the top Novice boats around,” Sweeney said. “You aren’t going to find any boats faster then what they were racing against today. They are doing a great job, but lack experience in racing compared to the other Novice crews. They were aggressive off the start, but couldn’t quite get it right at the finish.”
Meanwhile, the Second Varsity Eight placed 11th in the petite final of the Women’s JV race with a time of 7:13.25. The Wildcats rowed a fast and clean race, but were edged by quicker crews from Notre Dame, Northeastern, San Diego State and Texas.
“I’m really pleased in how we are doing and where we are at as a program,” Sweeney said. “We are keeping the progression going and getting closer and closer to crews that used to finish ahead of us. Obviously, we have to get faster and better, but we are definitely closing in on the competition.”
Up next, Kansas State will look to defend its current hold of the Kansas Cup as the Wildcats take on in-state rival Kansas in their annual spring dual with the Jayhawks on Saturday, April 8, in Lawrence, Kan.
SAN DIEGO CREW CLASSIC
at San Diego, Calif.
WOMEN’S CAL CUP (Grand Final) FIRST VARSITY EIGHT
1, Miami, 7:05:30, 2, Kansas State, 7:08:58, 3, Saint Joseph's, 7:10:87, 4, Sacramento State, 7:12:12, 5, Navy, 7:14:68, 6, UC Davis, 7:17:61.
WOMEN’S JV (Petite Final) SECOND VARSITY EIGHT
1, Notre Dame, 6:56:00, 2, Northeastern, 7:00:91, 3, San Diego State, 7:06:53, 4, Texas, 7:06:55, 5, Kansas State, 7:13:25, 6, San Diego (A), 7:15:21.
WOMEN’S COLLEGIATE NOVICE (Grand Final) FIRST NOVICE EIGHT
1, Cal, 6:46:90, 2, Texas, 6:47:95, 3, Stanford, 6:51:57, 4, Oregon State, 6:59:46, 5, Kansas State, 7:00:37, 6, UCLA, 7:04:68.