Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

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October 4, 2022

Texas rowing head coach Dave O’Neill previews upcoming Waco Regatta, 2024 season

Joshua Guenther

Texas rowing will head up the road for the Waco Regatta this weekend. The main focus for head coach Dave O’Neill and his team is going to be competing with each other. 

“We will be racing in mixed lineups,” O’Neill said. “We won’t be putting a top eight together. One boat won’t be a priority over another boat. With that there will be some really good internal competition.”

Even though the Longhorns will not be racing against any other Division I team on Sunday, O’Neill expressed the importance of Texas’ attendance in the regatta.

This will be the second annual Waco Regatta, and the proceeds from participation in the regatta will go towards the youth rowing community in Waco. Participants in the regatta range from Division I rowing programs to youth rowing organizations. 

“We recognize our role in terms of being an ambassador for the sport within the state,” O’Neill said. “It’s a really good opportunity for us to be seen.”

The regatta also acts as an opportunity for Texas Rowing to get a taste of adversity with a change of scenery.  

“Any time you go somewhere new, you have to deal with a little bit of adversity,” O’Neill said. “The more we can go out there and put ourselves in a little bit of an unfamiliar situation and then have to perform, that’s going to be a good day.”

O’Neill expressed that how the team performs against adversity and deals with whatever comes on race day will be how they determine their success this Sunday.

Though the regatta will serve as good practice, O’Neill emphasized the team’s goals are focused on the NCAA championship in the spring.

“We have to be a really good team every day. Every practice is important,” O’Neill said. “We’re focused on going fast at the end of May.”

Texas rowing won back-to-back national championships in 2021 and 2022 and finished fourth overall this past spring. When asked about expectations going into this season, O’Neill didn’t shy away from the program’s past success.

“Our team has had some really good success in terms of end-of-year results,” O’Neill said. “We know the standard that we’re shooting for. That is well established within our team.”

O’Neill talked about what the team will have to do for the rest of the offseason to get back to where they want to be. Getting stronger and rowing faster were both mentioned, but, moreover, the coach talked about the importance of the team working as one.

“The eight best individuals aren’t necessarily going to make the best crew of eight people,” O’Neill said. “How well are individuals working within the whole crew? That’s what’s most important.”

The Waco Regatta will begin at 8 a.m. this Sunday. The spring season will open with a scrimmage against Southern Methodist University on March 23.

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