The strong performances from Texas rowing continued Friday evening with its defeat of sixth-ranked Ohio State.
The Buckeyes are considered in the upper echelon of rowing teams around the country, as they have won the last six Big Ten titles. These two teams also have some shared recent history, as Texas finished ahead of the Buckeyes in the 2018 NCAA Championships to take third, while Ohio State finished in sixth place.
For the first time all season, UT swept its opponent. Texas head coach Dave O’Neill talked about the importance of the victory and how impressed he was with the team’s progress throughout the season.
"Winning these four races against Ohio State on their home course is certainly a big accomplishment. We have a ton of respect for their program, and today shows the progress we've made," O'Neill said.
Nevertheless, the victories were not earned without difficulties. The race was almost derailed due to predicted floods and had to be moved up a day earlier than its original scheduled time of Saturday. However, the race was not in Austin. Ironically, Columbus faced some of the same problems as the Longhorns back home, but the team was able to prevail and “make the most of it,” despite only having a few hours notice before the races began, according to O’Neill.
The first eight had another strong performance, finishing with a time of 5:54.50, just over five seconds faster than the Buckeyes. O’Neill was happy with the improvements the group made.
“The first eight has made some good improvements, and they showed some decent speed today."
While the second eight’s race was relatively closer, it still won commandingly with a time of 6:05.30, almost three seconds ahead of Ohio State. The same could be said for the first four, which crossed the finish line at a time of 6:44.90.
Arguably the biggest surprise of the day was the second four, which not only beat the first four’s time by over the three seconds, but finished the race almost 12 seconds ahead of Ohio State. O’Neill certainly took notice of the performance.
"Another standout performance was by the second four,” O’Neill said. “They established a solid lead early and never let up. They pushed to the very end, and that result was certainly noticed."
While the Longhorns have a weekend off, their next race will surely not be out of their minds as they are preparing for the Big 12 Championships on May 18.