Rowing sweeps Big 12 Championship

15 May By
College World Series
The Texas rowing teams swept all four events in the Big 12 Championship at Walter E. Long Lake (photo courtesy of texassports.com).

AUSTIN, Texas — The No. 2 Texas rowing team had little trouble defending its home turf, as the Longhorns swept all four races at the 2021 Big 12 Championship on Walter E. Long Lake, winning the title with 167 points.

Alabama finished second with 141 points, followed by Tennessee with 133 and Oklahoma with 91.

The conference championship, won in what was just the second home event for Texas this spring, was UT's sixth straight, and the 10th in program history. The victory sealed an automatic bid into the NCAA Championship May 28-30 in Sarasota, Fla.; the Horns, who placed fourth, third and second in each of the last three NCAA Championships, currently lead the NCAA automatic qualifier standings with 42 points.

"We had a terrific morning, and I'm really pleased with the way everyone raced. We had some hurdles to get over this week, and it's been impressive to see people step up and be willing to do whatever is best for the team," Texas head coach Dave O'Neill said. "We have an incredibly deep squad, and the four crews that raced did an outstanding job representing the team as a whole."

The I Eight opened the day by winning the first race with a time of 6:43.279. The Horns crossed the 2,000-meter finish line 13.628 seconds faster than second-place Alabama, which entered the race ranked No. 13 in the nation.

It was the same story, second verse in the following race, with UT's II Eight dominating with an 18-second victory, finishing in 6:52.303.

Taking command and getting in front early was key for all four Texas boats; the I Four and II Four took the same approach as the Eight boats and each tallied victories in flawless fashion.

The I Four led from the start, and raced away from the rest of the field, clocking a time of 7:51.683. Alabama and Tennessee, the second- and third-place finishers, each needed more than eight minutes to reach the finish line.

The II Four won by the largest margin of UT's boats, closing out the regatta by finishing just over 20 seconds ahead of Alabama, in 7:34.774.

"Hosting this event for the first time took a lot of work, and I'm grateful to everyone who made this happen," O'Neill said. "Texas Athletics was committed to building a legitimate seven-lane race course just a few miles from campus, and it was cool to see it come to reality."

BIG 12 CHAMPIONSHIP RESULTS:
Team Results
1. Texas – 167 points
2. Alabama – 141
3. Tennessee – 133
4. Oklahoma – 91
5. Kansas State – 87
6. Kansas – 77
7. West Virginia – 51

I Eight 
1. Texas – 6:43.279 
2. Alabama – 6:56.907 
3. Tennessee – 7:03.563 
4. Oklahoma – 7:14.121 
5. Kansas – 7:17.945 
6. Kansas State – 7:22.346 
7. West Virginia – 7:39.878 

II Eight 
1. Texas – 6:52.303 
2. Tennessee – 7:10.357 
3. Alabama – 7:15.364 
4. Kansas State – 7:30.269 
5. Oklahoma – 7:31.346 
6. West Virginia – 7:34.560 
7. Kansas – 7:36.074 

I Four 
1. Texas – 7:51.683 
2. Alabama – 8:06.949 
3. Tennessee – 8:16.405 
4. Kansas State – 8:20.052 
5. Kansas – 8:25.400 
6. Oklahoma – 8:32.786 
7. West Virginia – 8:55.171 

II Four 
1. Texas – 7:34.774 
2. Alabama – 7:55.061 
3. Tennessee – 8:03.510 
4. Kansas – 8:18.583 
5. Kansas State – 8:24.141 
6. Oklahoma – 8:38.406 

Riley Zayas is a high school sophomore and freelance journalist from Round Rock, Texas. He began his journalism career as a Sports Illustrated Kids reporter and has since become a regular contributor to Horns Illustrated, covering Texas Longhorn sports. His work also includes Fellowship of Christian Athletes publications, College Baseball Nation and Sports Spectrum, a national christian sports website. He currently serves as the Managing Editor of True To The Cru, covering UMHB athletics. Twitter: @ZayasRiley