KANSAS CITY, Kan. – The win streak by the Kansas State women’s rowing team in the Dillons Sunflower Showdown came to an end on Saturday morning, as Kansas collected wins in both Varsity Eight races at Wyandotte County Lake to earn the rivalry trophy back for the first time since 2017.
Due to how the races are weighed, the Jayhawks won the Sunflower Showdown, 15-5, on the strength of its victories in the First Varsity Eight (9 points) and Second Varsity Eight (6 points), as the First Varsity Four (3 points) and Second Varsity Four (2 points) counted for the remaining 5 points.
In the first head-to-head meeting in the Sunflower Showdown since 2019, Kansas jumped out to wins in the first two races of the day – the First Varsity Eight and Second Varsity Eight – before the Wildcats earned points in each of the Varsity Four races, including a dominant performance in the First Varsity Four by nearly 17 seconds.
Despite the loss, K-State has still won the Sunflower Showdown six times in the last 10 years, including a 22-0 sweep in 2019 – a first in the rivalry since 2012.
“Today, I think was really a mixed bag,” said head coach Pat Sweeney. “We’ve had strong training with our young team, but our weakness today was that we had too many technical errors. The 1v8 didn’t hear the start and got dropped by a half a length and it stayed that way until the finish.
“We were physically really doing well, but they got to learn better technique so to not make mistakes when they're racing. They really beat themselves by just making mistakes and we can't afford to do that.”
Putting the Wildcats’ youth in perspective, 23 of 28 athletes competing in the Sunflower Showdown were underclassmen, including 14 who are either redshirt or true freshmen.
Tom Gilbert - K-State Athletics