The fall season of NCAA rowing typically is a low-key precursor to the spring season, when major competition gets started.
It's an opportunity to get newcomers accustomed to the sport and for veterans to show off the things they learned the previous year.
It would seem fitting that the Kansas University rowing team would finish its fall season with a low-intensity regatta. Instead, Kansas will play host to rival Kansas State in this year's Sunflower Showdown at 2:45 p.m. today at Burcham Park.
"It's a wrap up of the fall season. It's a little tradition here to do a sprint race, which is what the spring season is," coach Rob Catloth said.
The Wildcats beat KU last fall but the Jayhawks came back and defeated them in the spring, the season Catloth said mattered more to his team.
Catloth said he was pleased with the progress and performances his team had made this fall, and that the fall season stressed developing rowers' fitness and technique.
Seniors Kristy Hainer and Erin Hennessey have led the Jayhawks through a successful fall season. Hennessey was KU's top finisher in last last week's Championship Single race at the Head of the Hooch in Gainesville, Ga. She finished in sixth place with a time of 22:50.6.
The Jayhawks also finished fourth in the Championship Eight and Championship Four races.
Kansas State enters the last competition of its fall season today after taking last weekend off. The Wildcats' "A" boat finished fourth place at the Head of the Iowa competition Oct. 31 in Iowa City, Iowa.
|Take Iowa St. to Fourth St.Head east on Fourth through three stop signs.Turn north on Indiana St., continue for two blocks and turn east to Burcham Park.|
Catloth said he expected a close race today and wanted to finish the fall season with a resounding victory over the Jayhawks' in-state rival.
"It should be a pretty competitive race," Catloth said. "We're looking for good races and to get going into the spring season."