Longhorns dominate Heart of Texas regatta

Blake McAdow

What looked like an ugly day of delays and cancellations at the Heart of Texas Regatta turned into a perfect afternoon for Texas to show off its roster. After an early morning lightning scare shuffled up the schedule, the skies cleared up at Lady Bird Lake, enabling the Longhorns to take the top four spots in the Varsity eights, and the top three spots in the novice eights and novice fours final.

“It was a great performance by both squads, both the varsity and the novice,” said Texas assistant coach Melissa Perrone. “The sunny conditions were great, but there was a strong head wind, so it made for a tough race.”

The wind didn’t seem to shake the Longhorns. In the women’s open eights final, the ‘B’ lineup, led by coxswain junior Emily Lantz crossed the 1,000-meter finish line in first with a time of 3 minutes, 7.10.

The ‘A’ and ‘C’ varsity boats also notched top four finishes, but the surprise finish came from the novice ‘A’ boat, which finished third in the varsity eights final.

“They looked fantastic and really duked it out,” Perrone said about the novice lineup. “From a varsity coach perspective, those are girls we’re looking to move up next year.”

It was another strong performance from Texas’ deep roster. Just like in their last meet in Austin, the Fighting Nutria, the Longhorns swept the top spots in each category.

“Great depth is important in order to get invited to the NCAAs [Championships],” Perrone said. “We’re looking [to use] 20 solid athletes, which means 35 solid athletes to push it on the top end.”

In the novice open eights final, the Longhorns also claimed the top three spots with the winning boat, led by coxswain sophomore Rachel Donnelly, finishing in 3 minutes, 45.20 seconds.