This weekend, Texas will take to the water in Bloomington, Indiana, to compete in the Dale England Cup.
The Longhorns will race against Indiana, Notre Dame and Columbia in a series of dual races, in which two teams race head-to-head. Head coach Dave O’Neill said he hopes to use this regatta as an opportunity to improve upon the team’s close second-place finishes at the Clemson Invitational, including several against Indiana.
“Basically, what we realized we need to do better is we need to go further per stroke,” O’Neill said. “I think they’re trying hard; they’re rowing relatively well, but, in terms of maximizing that base speed, we just haven’t been able to get that just yet. But we’ve made some big steps forward.”
Texas is currently ranked 12th, one spot below host Indiana. After the San Diego Crew Classic, the Longhorns emerged in the national rankings for the first time since 2012. O’Neill said he used the last poll before the San Diego Crew Classic in March, which didn’t rank the Longhorns, as motivation for the team.
“I showed everyone the poll, and I’m like, ‘Hey, this is the last time that Texas is not ranked in the top 20,’” O’Neill said. “‘This is the last poll ever.’ And then, sure enough, after the Crew Classic, we were ranked.”
O’Neill said one of the top priorities before this weekend’s regatta was figuring out the constantly changing lineups for the top varsity boats. In the days leading up to the regatta, the coaches have spent hours going over possible lineups on whiteboards.
“Trying to get everyone flowing and going along on the same page — it’s tough,” O’Neill said. “I think a great mindset change for the team has been thinking about what’s best for the team. I’ve been impressed with the lack of selfishness.”