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OU Wins C-USA Title, Qualifies for NCAAs
May 17, 2014
Final Standings (Top 5)
Place Team Points
1. Oklahoma 62
2. Tennessee 58
3. Kansas State 56
4. Tulsa 46
5. Texas 44
1V8 Grand Final
Place Team Time
1. Oklahoma 6:36.10
2. Tennessee 6:38.97
3. Kansas State 7:39.75
4. Tulsa 7:52.9
5. Texas 6:41.41
6. Old Dominion 6:42.58
2V8 Grand Final
Place Team Time
1. Tennessee 6:40.90
2. Oklahoma 6:43.76
3. Kansas State 6:46.60
4. Texas 6:48.17
5. Kansas 6:48.60
6. Tulsa 6:55.06
1V4 Grand Final
Place Team Time
1. Kansas State 7:27.70
2. Tulsa 7:30.38
3. Oklahoma 7:32.00
4. Kansas 7:32.41
5. Texas 7:37.05
6. Tennessee 7:39.64

OAK RIDGE, Tenn. -- In a thrilling finish in the final race of the afternoon, the Oklahoma rowing team bested 10 teams to win the Conference USA Championship at Melton Hill Lake on Saturday.

"I am so incredibly proud of this team and the effort they showed today in every event in which we competed," said OU head coach Leeanne Crain, who was announced as the C-USA Coach of the Year following the racing. "The competitive level of C-USA was at an all-time high this year with several teams in reach of the championship up to the last race. In the final event, our IV8 was down open water at the 1,000 and somehow managed to come back from a substantial deficit to win it. I don't know where they found the inspiration but it was a beautiful thing to watch."

With the Sooners tied with Kansas State at 29 points apiece and Tennessee right behind with 28 points, the title came down to the final race of the day in the first varsity eight grand final. OU fell behind early, but continued to cut away at the Volunteers' lead, finally pulling up neck and neck with approximately 500 meters left in the race. The Sooners willed themselves ahead at last down the stretch, crossing the finish in 6:36.10 to take the win and give OU back-to-back C-USA trophies.

As a team, Oklahoma took the title with 62 total points, followed by Tennessee with 58 points. Rounding out the top five were Kansas State with 56, Tulsa with 46 and Texas with 44 points.

The title gives OU the automatic berth to the NCAA Championship in two weeks from May 30 to June 1 in Indianapolis. The trip will be the Sooners' second in program history after placing 17th at last year's event.

Kristin Clift was voted the Conference USA Rower of the Year, pairing the honor with her Big 12 Rower of the Year award earned two weeks ago. OU has now claimed every rower of the year award from both conferences each of the last three seasons; Clift joins Nikki Furmanek as the only two Sooners to win both in the same season.

Freshman Victoria Wallace, a member of the first varsity eight, was named C-USA Newcomer of the Year, the second straight year a Sooner has won the award. Crain's Coach of the Year award completed the Sooner sweep and is her second straight C-USA honor.

Also announced was the All-Conference USA team, with Oklahoma leading the league with four honorees: Clift, Marilyn Kozlowski, Heather Morris and Emmie Preskitt. All four took All-Big 12 honors two weeks ago but each earned C-USA recognition for the first time in their respective careers.

After advancing to the grand final after heats earlier in the day, the second varsity eight rowed to a second place finish in 6:43.76, coming in behind the Volunteers who clocked in at 6:40.90. Oklahoma was followed by Kansas State (6:46.60), Texas (6:48.17), Kansas (6:48.60) and Tulsa (6:55.06).

In the other scored race of the championship, the first varsity four, the Sooners placed third in a time of 7:32.00. Kansas State finished first at 7:27.70 and Tulsa second at 7:30.38. Behind OU in fourth was Kansas (7:32.41) followed by Texas (7:37.05) and Tennessee (7:39.64).

Oklahoma also won both of the nonscored races earlier in the day, taking first in both the open eight and open four. The open eight won with a time of 7:03.50 in a close race between the Sooners and Kansas, with the Jayhawks timed at 7:04.87. In the open four, OU (7:44.20) handily placed first almost four seconds ahead of second place Tennessee (7:48.00).

First Varsity 8
Rower  
Position
Ashley Carpenter
C
Heather Morris
S
Marilyn Kozlowski
7
Kristin Clift
6
Emmie Preskitt
5
Kellie O'Reilly
4
Victoria Wallace
3
Kim Moldenhauer
2
Reagan Collins
1
First Varsity 4
Rower  
Position
Lindsey McClure
C
Abbie Seremek
S
Maddie Wullschleger
3
Dale Main
2
Maegan Neihart
1
Third Varsity 8
Rower  
Position
Jade Nelson
C
Stephanie Busse
S
Belle Stixrood
7
Taylor Gillespie
6
Hallie Robertson
5
Angela Thompson-Butler
4
Markayla Adam
3
Cassie Preskitt
2
Taylor Spencer
1
Second Varsity 8
Rower  
Position
Nicasia D'Allesandro
C
Laura Combs
S
Rachel Cantrell
7
Natalie Grimes
6
Daisy Beals
5
Megan Quinn
4
Callie Kinsey
3
Jenny O'Grady
2
Marissa Beene
1
Open 4
Rower  
Position
Ashley Middaugh
C
Hannah Kloppenburg
S
Megan Szukala
3
Jenny Franklin
2
Allison Kwiecinski
1
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