Horns try for first team title, reflect on memorable year

Blake McAdow

This season has been one to remember for the Longhorns, and a strong finish could land Texas in a position it has never been in since going Division I in 1998. Since Texas sent its top varsity boat to the NCAA Championships in back-to-back seasons in 2003-2004, the qualifications for the championships have changed to allow only complete teams, and not at-large individual boats, to be sent to the annual May event.

“As a team, it’s been our most successful season,” said head coach Carie Graves. “They’re doing extremely well and really owning it. That’s absolutely what you want as a coach.”

The changed rules have allowed for the very best and deepest programs to compete on a yearly basis but has also required teams to compete in all three events: first varsity eight, second varsity eight and varsity four, events that require different rowers in each event.

Since the rule change in 2009, Texas has never sent a team to the spring championships, but this year could be its first.

“The whole team is full of very competitive women who are really taking responsibility for what they’re doing on and off the water,” Graves said.

After winning their third straight Big 12 Championship in dominant fashion, the Longhorns have one very crucial regatta remaining, the inaugural Conference USA Championships.