MANHATTAN, Kan. Kansas State will take on the conference competition of Kansas and Texas on Saturday from Austin, Texas. Elements will be familiar to the Wildcats, as K-State has competed at Lady Bird Lake already this season and has raced versus Kansas on three occasions this year.
“Both Kansas and ourselves have raced on this course already this year,” head coach Pat Sweeney said. “So we all know the course rather well. Other than Texas having the home crowd advantage, this is a good venue for holding this race.”
The Wildcats defeated Kansas in head-to-head competition twice this season, as K-State captured the Sunflower Showdown and Kansas Cup victories. During the most recent battle of in-state rivals, the Wildcats overpowered the Jayhawks by 3.8 seconds in the 2V8+ race and by 4.7 seconds in the 1V8+ race at the Kansas Cup on April 12th. The Wildcats also defeated KU in the Varsity races on April 20th in the Grand Finals of the Southern IRA Championships in Oak Ridge, Tenn.
K-State entered into the field at the Longhorn Invitational the weekend of March 21st, but did not compete versus host Texas. The Wildcats however did gain an extensive knowledge of the Lady Bird Lake waters as K-State raced in three-consecutive days of dual competition.
"Because of the overall depth, you would expect Texas to win the points trophy," Sweeney said. "However, we have challenged each of our crews to make upsets. On the Varsity side, Texas is fast but beatable, just as KU must be saying the same of us. This weekend is a great time to put it on the line and attack Texas. Our Novice 8 has Kansas in their sights. They have been closing in on them, now they must begin to push themselves past."
The 2008 three-team regatta marks the eighth-straight year that the three programs have held the invitational. K-State placed third last year in the team scoring, only four points back from Kansas, as Texas took the title. The Wildcats and Jayhawks tied for second place in team scoring in 2006.
K-State will compete in three of the six scheduled races with the first occurring at 9:30 a.m. as the First Novice 8+ will take to the waters. The Varsity 8+ races will be the final two of the morning as the Second Varsity 8+ is scheduled for 10 a.m. and the First Varsity 8+ at 10:15 a.m.
A complete recap of the Big 12 Invitational will be posted at www.kstatesports.com as soon as results become available.
Teams listed in lane assignment order
9 a.m.: 2N4 Kansas, Texas, Texas
9:15 a.m.: 2N8 Kansas, Texas
9:30 a.m.: 1N8 Kansas State, Kansas, Texas
9:45 a.m.: 1V4 Kansas, Texas
10 a.m.: 2V8 Texas, Kansas State, Kansas
10:15 a.m.: 1V8 Texas, Kansas, Kansas State