Wichita State rowing kicks off Labor Day weekend with S’mores and Oars


Rachel Rudisill

The event offered students an opportunity to explore the rowing facilities downtown.

Wichita State’s rowing team kicked off the long weekend with their fourth annual S’mores and Oars event on Wednesday.

The event is free to both the public and students; however, students are required to sign a waiver and bring their student IDs.

S’mores and Oars is an opportunity for students on campus to visit the downtown aquatic facility at the River Viesta. The event also allows the rowing team to interact with the community and gain new members.

“One of the great things about having the event here is that there are a lot of students who just don’t know what else is offered at the university,” Head Coach Calvin Cupp said. “One of the challenges of rowing is that we’re off campus. With this event, students get the opportunity to look at the great facility.”

Cupp and the team created events both on and off of the land. The team provided recreational pedal boats, paddle boards and kayaks, as well as lawn games such as cornhole and connect four.

When students were done participating in the events, they had the choice to sit over two fire pits and cook up some s’mores.

The 2021-2022 rowing team members were working stations including teaching students how to row, handing out life jackets and running rowing machines.

Before inexperienced rowers were placed in an 8+ shell boat with four trained rowers, they were required to use the ergometer machine; the machine is often used by physical therapists. It measures an individual’s upper body strength while working their muscles. It mimics the rowing process, so individuals are not confused when they get in the boat.

“The rowing machine is a good chance for students to get a crash course on rowing before they get on the boat,” junior rower Alex Sterzing said. “It also is an opportunity for students to learn about the actual mechanics of rowing. Not many people know what goes into what we do.”

Students and the community could also view the facilities at the boathouse, located at River Viesta.

“We wanna make sure that if people have an interest in actually trying rowing they can get that experience,” Cupp said. 

Tryouts for students will be held Tuesday, Sept. 6 at 5:45 a.m. For more information, contact Assistant Coach Rachel Tuck at [email protected].