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Kansas State Collegian

Kansas State Collegian

The independent student news publication at Kansas State University

Kansas State Collegian

K-State rowing rides momentum into Sunflower Showdown

Rowing prepares for rivalry matchup
K-State rowing practices at Tuttle Creek Lake. The Wildcats will take on rival Kansas in the Sunflower Showdown on Saturday, May 4 in Kansas City, Kansas. Photo Courtesy of K-State Athletics.

Kansas State rowing was successful in its last outing, winning one gold and two silver medals at the Southern Intercollegiate Rowing Association Championships. Ava Werner, a rower on the 3v8+ silver medaling boat, is excited to continue the momentum into the Sunflower Showdown.

“We have been making a lot of improvements,” Werner said. “In my boat, we all know we are getting faster, so it’s exciting because we know we have a really good shot.”

Werner said the improvement came through steady teamwork.

‘Knowing that you’re pushing the weight off the person in front of you,” Werner said. “We all have to do it together.”

Two weeks ago, the 3v8+ boat beat an experienced Iowa team by four seconds in a race with the Hawkeyes and Minnesota. Senior rower Lindsey Devreugd said an earlier encounter with Iowa helped fuel motivation to secure the win. 

“We had seen Iowa even earlier in the year at our race in Florida and they beat us by five seconds,” Devreugd said. “We knew this time around we had potential if we pushed really hard.” 

As a senior, Devreugd takes on the role of a mentor for the young 3v8+ boat, always willing to encourage her fellow teammates.

“The girls on the team like telling me I’m their mom, which I think is funny,” Devreugd said. “I always tell them to ‘keep your head up — rowing is fun, but don’t let it define who you are.’” 

Devreugd is proud of her young boat, which consists of herself as the lone upperclassman, two sophomores and six freshmen. She said their youth didn’t stop them from surpassing Iowa. 

“It was cool to see we were able to push through and beat them by four seconds,” Devreugd said.

Devreugd is also thrilled about the challenge of facing rival Kansas, as the team focuses not only physically, but also mentally. 

“We do workshops with our sport site coordinator,” Devreugd said. “She will come in, talk to the whole team about meditating before races and envisioning success.” 

Werner shares Devreugd’s appreciation for their coaching staff, namely head coach Patrick Sweeney. 

“I respect the fact that he always gives us everything we need to be good, even though we all have different experience levels or not the same type of equipment other teams have,” Werner said. 

The Wildcats look to push each other to further success in the Sunflower Showdown. The rivals will compete at 4 p.m. May 4 in Kansas City, Kansas. 

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