Rowing is not a sport people comonly associate with the Big 12. And with good reason, given the sport is a relatively new one in the conference – only five years old – and only half of the member schools support teams in the sport. Oklahoma is the only school not named Texasto win the Big 12 Rowing Championship, and the Sooners did not crack that string until this year, unseating Texas after four consecutive conference championships.
Oklahoma was one of 22 teams competing in the 2013 NCAA Rowing Championship this past weekend at Eagle Creek Park in Indianapolis. That is a big deal in and of itself, because the Sooners are the first Big 12 team to make the field for the national championship in this sport, which makes their 17th-place finish record-setting, as well.
In the Sooners three final races on the final day, the OU varsity eight and second varsity eight boats both finished fifth, which earned the Sooners enough points for a 17th-place finish. The last event of the day was the championship final of the varsity four class. OU came in sixth, just behind the crew from Cornell. UCLA won the event, with Wisconsin coming in second.
Ohio State was the overall winner in this year’s NCAA Rowing Championship, marking the first time a school not from the East or West Coast has won the national championhip.
The final day of the three-day competition was by far the best of the three. Days one and two made for rough rowing for all of the teams, with rain, heavy winds, cool temperatures and wavy conditions on the water.