Rowers pick up accolades in classroom

Blake McAdow

We have seen what they can do in the water, but most recently, Texas has been making headlines in the classroom. On Tuesday, 18 rowers were named to the inaugural All-Big 12 At-Large Team. Unlike other sports, this all-conference team recognizes 161 student-athletes from Big 12 schools participating in nontraditional sports such as horseback riding, bowling, men’s gymnastics and rowing.

In addition to Big 12 honors, 22 student-athletes were named to the Conference USA Commissioner’s Honor Roll, and three Longhorns received C-USA academic medals. Sophomore Katie Sayre and freshmen Tea Vrtlar and Jessica Glennie all received medals for maintaining GPAs of 3.75 or higher.

With the Big 12 only having four teams in Division I rowing (Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Kansas State), the Big 12, SEC, and C-USA teams merged and are all part of Conference USA. In 2010, Tennessee won the first ever C-USA Championships, edging out third-place Texas.

With just two weeks left until the Big 12 Championships, Texas is looking to prove its prowess as it takes on nationally-ranked Michigan State, Clemson and UCLA at the Virginia Invitational in Lake Monticello, Va. The No. 18 ranked Longhorns crushed Kansas in their last outing, but should see much closer races against teams all currently ranked ahead of them. Earlier in the season, the Longhorns dominated No. 10 ranked Wisconsin at the Longhorn Invitational.

“Wisconsin is pretty strong. That was a good marker to have success there,” said head coach Carie Graves.

Despite a very successful spring thus far, Graves knows there are still improvements to be made.

“We need to row more effectively at a higher stroke rating,” Graves said. “[We must] continue to maintain speed, think about getting faster every race, and be more efficient, physically.”

Even with just a few events remaining, the coaching staff continues to tweak the lineup to make sure they have the absolute best combination of rowers for each event.