NORMAN, Okla. -- The Oklahoma rowing team won nine races in two sessions on the first day of the Longhorn Invitational in Austin, Texas on Saturday.
Coming in as the defending champions of the Longhorn, three OU boats swept both of their races, including the first varsity four, second varsity four and third varsity eight. The Sooners raced head-to-head against Kansas State in the morning before going up against UCF in the evening session.
After lineup changes in both the first and second varsity boats following a pair of losses to KSU, both boats bounced back strong with a pair of wins later in the day. The second varsity eight shaved almost six seconds off its earlier time with a 6:50.8 time to the Knights' 7:01.0. The first varsity eight ended the evening with an even bigger improvement, coming in at 6:41.3, an almost 13-second improvement that was good enough to beat UCF's time of 6:47.5.
The OU first varsity four stayed undefeated on the day with a victory in 7:40.2, besting UCF's mark of 7:50.2. The second varsity four also won its second contest of the day, easily winning with a time of 7:53.1 compared to the Knights' 8:06.2.
In the first races of the evening session, the third varsity eight won its second close race of the day, defeating UCF's time of 7:13.1 with a time of 7:10.0. The fourth varsity eight fell just short against Texas with a time of 7:32.2.
The Sooners will start the second and final day at Lady Bird Lake on Sunday at 8 a.m. CT with the fourth varsity eight race against Kansas State. The other five OU boats will race against Texas starting at 8:20 a.m. with the third varsity eight boat and culminating with the first varsity eight race at 11 a.m.
Saturday Morning Results Oklahoma began the day in head-to-head racing against Kansas State, finishing first in four of six races against the Wildcats.
"Kansas State challenged us in every race today," said OU head coach Leeanne Crain. "They were quick off the start and we found ourselves racing from behind in the first 500 meters in almost every race. I'm happy with how we rallied in our lower boats to come from behind to win, but our varsity eights struggled to gain composure and didn't race to their potential."
The OU first varsity four crossed the line in 7:42.2, besting Kansas State's time of 7:47.3. The second varsity four's time of 7:48.00 was also good enough to defeat the Wildcats, who came in at 7:52.9.
The first varsity eight and second varsity eight boats both came up short, with the 1V8 finishing behind Kansas State's time of 6:48.4 with a mark of 6:54.0. In the 2V8 race, OU finished in 6:56.6 compared to KSU's 6:51.8.
In the first race of the morning, the Sooner fourth varsity eight boat claimed a comfortable win with a time of 7:19.60 to Kansas State's 7:26.20. The third varsity eight boat then came through down the stretch in the ensuing race, gutting out a win in a close race by crossing the finish less than two seconds faster than their Wildcat counterparts with a time of 7:05.4 to KSU's 7:07.1.
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