STORY BY ASHLEY BEALL
Our team traveled to Kansas University this past weekend to face off against the University of Kansas Jayhawks in a controlled scrimmage.
Our varsity and second varsity eight boats competed against Kansas and Kansas State, while our varsity four boat only competed against Kansas.
Clearly, Kansas is a very big program. Since they are a scholarship program and one of the strongest teams we compete against, going into this scrimmage was intimidating because they are such an amazing team.
With that being said, I’ll be honest, I did not think we had a good chance of hanging with them throughout the race. I was a little afraid. Thankfully, I was proven wrong. Our eight boats were able to maintain contact with the KU and Kansas State boats throughout the race and not fall too far behind.
Their coach said that this is one of the best teams their program has ever had, so the fact that we were able to hang with them throughout the race was huge for us.
As a member of the four boat, I was incredibly proud of my team. We had two girls who just recently joined Drake Rowing and this was their first race experience. I’m proud to say we all survived with no one falling into the river. While we have a long way to go, this race gave us a good foundation to build on and gave give us a better idea of what areas we need to improve in.
This scrimmage was exactly what our team needed going into our next race in Grand Haven, Michigan at the Lubber’s Cup. Grand Valley State is hosting this race and they are one of the top club teams in the nation.
While we are a Division I team, facing them is going to be a good test for us because their team is so strong and consistent.
We will be facing Robert Morris University, who is actually a member of our conference, so getting the opportunity to face them before our conference championships is important.
Over spring break, our team headed out to Jacksonville, Florida to train and face off against other teams from our conference, Stetson and Jacksonville, for our seed going into the conference championships.
This spring season has been a season of trials for our team, but we are constantly working to better ourselves and the hard work is paying off for us. I’m excited to see how we do at the Lubber’s Cup and look forward to steadily improving each week.