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2013 OU Rowing Championship Central  
OU Rowing Championship Central

 
JOIN THE JOURNEY
Follow the Sooners with behind-the-scenes updates, news and notes from team headquarters throughout the postseason as the Big 12 Champion Sooners compete at their first NCAA Championship:
Twitter: @SoonerRowing
Instagram: @ou_rowing

 NCAA Championship
 Dates  May 31-June 2
 Time  Full Schedule
 Where  Indianapolis
 Site  Eagle Creek Park
 Live Results  RegattaTiming.com
 Live Video  NCAA.com
 Twitter  @SoonerRowing
 Instagram  @ou_rowing
 Rankings  National Rankings
 Info  OU Race Notes
 Program  Digital Program
 Fan Info  Fan Info
 Tickets  Buy Tickets


 2013 Season
 3/9  Season-Opener in OKC
 3/10  Windy Sweep of Kansas
 3/22  Good Start in Austin
 3/23  On to the Finals in Texas
 3/24  Longhorn Invite Champs
 3/30  Pac 12 Split
 3/31  Edged by No. 9 Stanford
 4/20  Four Ranked Teams Fall
 4/21  Clemson Invite Finale
 5/3  Big 12 Champions!
 5/18  C-USA Win, on to NCAAs
 5/31  NCAA Champ. Debut
 6/1  Wavy, Wet NCAA Semis
 6/2  17th at 1st NCAA Finals
 
OU ROWING CENTRAL
Stay connected with the OU rowing team with updates, news and information:

Home | Roster
Twitter: @SoonerRowing
Instagram: @ou_rowing
Schedule | Coaching Staff
Boathouse District

   
  Sunday, June 9
The Perfect Present for Dad
Father's day is just a week away, and if you're trying to find that perfect present for Dad, we have you covered. Celebrate OU's Big 12 and Conference USA titles with the official championship t-shirt.

  Thursday, June 6
Defending the Big 12 Title at Home
The Big 12 announced today the conference championship schedule for the 2013-14 season. The Big 12 Rowing Championship returns to Oklahoma City May 3, where the defending champion Sooners will look to win their second conference crown in as many years.

The 2014 race will be the sixth Big 12 Rowing Championship, with the 2010 and 2012 events also on the Oklahoma River.

Twenty of the league's 23 sports will host a postseason championship. The Sooners will also host the wrestling championship at McCasland Field House, while the women's basketball and baseball Big 12 title will be awarded in Oklahoma City.

  Wednesday, June 5
Champions
Congratulations to the national champion OU softball team! Their perfect run through the postseason was an impressive feat, and last night's win in Oklahoma City was the perfect way to win a title.

  Tuesday, June 4
Back to Reality
For the first time in a long time, there was no morning practice for the Sooners. The season lasted an extra two weeks, but that doesn't mean the end of the season is any easier to take.

For 14 seniors, they helped grow OU rowing into the team it is today. They arrived in the program's second year and brought it up to an elite level quickly. Their hard work, determination and passion will not be forgotten. In what hopefully will be a long list of teams that won conference titles and made it to the NCAA Championship, they will always be the first.

For the Sooners that are returning, the hard work continues. The bar has been raised, and they now have the task of living up to the higher expectations. Winning a conference title has been the goal, and in five short years, it became the reality. But now, maintaining the status as the conference's best team is the challenge. They must go out and win the title with the target on their back.

  Monday, June 3
Hello Oklahoma City! - 10:37 a.m.
After nearly a week in Indianapolis, the Sooners have arrived back in Oklahoma City and are on their way back to campus. The season might be over, but be sure to stay tuned to Championship Central for continued coverage and analysis on the NCAA Championship and the record-setting 2013 season over the course of the next week.

Layover in Kansas City - 8:10 a.m. CT
We are in the middle of a layover in Kansas City. We take off for Oklahoma City in about an hour. Activities during the layover include finding breakfast, sleeping and catching up on summer school homework.

Heading Home - 4:45 a.m. ET
It's a very early morning, but the bus is loaded, the Sooners are on board and we are about to leave for the airport. It's been an amazing week in Indianapolis, but unfortunately, all good things must come to an end. When we land in Oklahoma City and make the short drive south to Norman, the 2012-13 season will officially be over.

  Sunday, June 2
Celebratory Dinner in Indy - 8:45 p.m.
The Sooners have just wrapped up their final team dinner of the 2012-13 season. The team gathered at a restaurant close to the hotel in downtown Indianapolis to celebrate the end of the NCAA Championships and the season. We fly home early tomorrow morning.

Photos  
Twitter: A Great Dinner in Indianapolis

The Last Recap - 3 p.m.
The historic season for the University of Oklahoma rowing team was capped off with a 17th-place finish Sunday at the 2013 NCAA Rowing Championship in Indianapolis.

"It's been an incredible journey to this point and I can't begin to express how proud I am of these young women," OU head coach Leeanne Crain said. "Every one of them has poured their hearts and souls into this team. Getting to the national championship was the culmination of their belief in one another and the effort they put forth every step of the way."

Check out the complete results and more.

OU Rowing at NCAA Championship

Final Standings - 11:45 a.m.
The final standings for the 2013 NCAA Rowing Championship have been unveiled, and the Sooners finished 17th overall out of the 22 teams. At their first national championship, the finish marks the highest ranking in the team's five year history. Additionally, OU placed highest among the five teams that made their first NCAA Championship appearance this weekend.

Ohio State came in first with a total of 126 points, followed by California with 124. It was the first national title for the Buckeyes and the first time a Big Ten team was crowned NCAA champions. Since the inaugural championship in 1997, the only schools to win have been from the east or west coast. Brown (7 times), Washington (3), California (2), Virginia (2) Harvard (1) and Stanford (1) won the first 16 NCAA trophies.

OU Rowing at NCAA Championship

Championship Complete - 11:03 a.m.
Racing has finished here at Eagle Creek Park, with two of the last three events featuring the Sooners. In the C finals, OU's second varsity eight finished fifth, while its varsity four posted a sixth-place finish in the final event of the championship.

The second varsity eight finished fifth and posted a time of 6:47.752, its fastest time at the championship. Cornell, Washington State and Michigan claimed the top three spots in a closely contested finish, with less than 1.5 seconds separating the three crews. Oklahoma and Wisconsin fought for fourth place throughout the race, but the Badgers had the edge at the finish line by less than two seconds.

The varsity four C final was the last event of the day, and the Sooners crossed the line in 7:39.220 for a sixth-place finish. It was a close race early, but UCLA pulled away by the 1,000 meter mark and won by nearly five seconds ahead of Wisconsin. Cornell finished fifth, 4.721 seconds in front of OU.

Three Races Down, Two to Go - 8:23 a.m.
The Sooners have finished three races, including one final. In the semifinals to start the day, OU's second varsity eight and varsity four posted third-place finishes to advance to the C finals later this morning.

In the C final of the varsity eight, Oklahoma finished fifth in 6:50.205, its fastest time of the weekend by over 20 seconds. The Sooners were slow off the start and were in last after the first 500 meters. As Notre Dame and Washington State began to pull away slightly from the leading pack in the middle portion of the race, OU was able to catch Boston. The Sooners downed BU by just 0.370 seconds to claim fifth place. UND and WSU took the top two spots.

Oklahoma's second varsity eight and varsity four race in the third final at 10:30 a.m. ET and 10:50, respectively.

Precursor to the Finals - 7:23 a.m.
The Sooners have two semifinals to race in the second varsity eight and varsity four before the finals. OU's two boats have launched and are warming up. They race at 8 and 8:10 a.m. CT, followed by the



One Last Time - 6:15 a.m.
Well, this is it, the last day of the season. OU will get its money's worth on the NCAA Championship's final day with five races. The Sooners will make up their postponed semifinal races at 8 a.m. ET in the second varsity eight and at 8:10 in the varsity four. The finals begin at 8:40 with the varsity eight C final. The second varsity eight and varsity four will race between 10:20 and 10:50, depending on if they advance to the C or D final.

The full schedule can be found by looking at the finals heat sheet. Follow the action from rainy Indianapolis with live video and live results.

  Saturday, June 1
Today in Pictures, Tomorrow in a Schedule- 6:15 p.m.
The team is about to have dinner at the hotel. While the Sooners fuel up for tomorrow's semifinals and finals, look back on today's races in finals heat sheet will whet your appetite.

OU Rowing at NCAA Championship

Recap: One Boat Advances, Two Delayed in Semis- 3 p.m.
Strong winds and large waves at Eagle Creek Park proved to be too much as the 2013 NCAA Rowing Championship was suspended after two boats, including one from Oklahoma, swamped in a semifinal race.

Just four races remained Saturday in Indianapolis when the second varsity eight's Division I C/D semifinal got underway as winds increased and waves got bigger. Oklahoma and Wisconsin took in too much water and could not finish the race. While the remaining three crews were able to finish, the results were not counted and the race will be run again Sunday.

Read all about the excitement at the full result from every Division I, II and III race.

OU Rowing at NCAA Championship

Races Postponed - 1:30 p.m.
Racing has officially been suspended for the day and today's final four events will race tomorrow. full result. Check back shortly for a complete recap of this morning's semifinals.

Waiting at the Hotel - 12:20 p.m.
We have just arrived back at the hotel and are awaiting official word on the status of the remaining races today and the second varsity eight race. With strong winds and storms expected throughout the afternoon, it is possible the races will be held tomorrow. The team will have lunch and wait for an update.

Swamped - 11:45 a.m.

Heavy winds in the second varsity eight's semifinal caused OU's boat to swamp shortly after the 1,000 meter mark. Large waves brought too much water into the boat, which forced the Sooners, in second at the time, to stop rowing. Wisconsin also took in a lot of water and stopped 750 meters into the race. Cornell was leading, and Gonzaga was in a tight race with OU and UW for second and third. The race was not stopped and Cornell, Gonzaga and Marist finished. The official result of the race is currently under review by race officials.

Everyone is ok and back on land. Both the Oklahoma and Wisconsin boats were towed in, and we just got done bailing them out. A big thanks to the coaches and staff from Wisconsin for their assistance in bailing out our boat and all the other crews who provided help.

In the varsity eight semifinal, held before the second varsity eight race, OU advanced with a second-place finish. The varsity four semifinal was suspended.

Photos  
Twitter: Bailing out the Second Varsity Eight

Time for the Semifinals - 9:55 a.m.

Racing for the Sooners will get underway in about half an hour. Follow the action from rainy Indianapolis with live video and live results. Don't forget your rain gear.

Photos  
Twitter: Rowing for OklaHOME

Another Schedule Change - 8:41 a.m.
We just got to the course, but there is another schedule change. The Division II repechages and the Division I C/D semifinals have been condensed. OU will now race at 10:25 a.m. ET in the varsity eight, 10:30 in the second varsity eight and 10:40 in the varsity four.

Off to the Course in the Rain - 8:19 a.m.

It's still raining, but we are on our way to the course. Racing is still scheduled to go off on time after this morning's delay.

Weather Delay, Again - 5:43 a.m.

Rain has forced this morning's revised schedule to be revised again. Instead of starting at 7 a.m. ET, the first race will be at 8:30. OU will race at 10:30, 10:50 and 11:10.

  Friday, May 31
Saturday Schedule Change- 6:30 p.m.
Due to more storms expected for tomorrow, the semifinal schedule has been condensed and the order of races changed. The first race is scheduled for 7 a.m. ET with the Division III Petite Final. Oklahoma will race in the C/D semifinal at 9:10 in the varsity eight, 9:20 in the second varsity eight and 9:40 in the varsity four. The last race of the day is scheduled for 10:50 a.m. The purpose for the semifinal schedule is to allow for greater flexibility if there are delays.

Recapping OU's NCAA Debut - 4 p.m.

The Sooners made their national championship debut amidst a steady rain and tough headwind this morning at the 2013 NCAA Rowing Championships in Indianapolis.

OU finished in the top four in five of its six races, including two top-three finishes. While the Sooners did not finish first or second in any of their three heats or repechages to advance to tomorrow's top semifinal, the Sooners beat five higher-ranked boats.

Read all about the full result from every Division I, II and III race.

NCAA Championships

On to the Semifinals - 1:45 p.m.

All three OU boats advanced to the C/D finals in today's repechage races. The Sooners posted a third-place finish and two fourth-place finishes in the seven-team repechages. In each race, the top two teams moved on to the A/B set of semifinals. There was a light, inconsistent rain throughout the session that picked up to a heavy rain right after the Sooners' last race. Full results from all of today's races can be full result.

The varsity eight race was the first of the repechage session for OU, and the Sooners opened with a 7:20.877 to finish in fourth, ahead of Wisconsin, Gonzaga and Marist. The race for first place was a tight contest between Stanford, Yale and Notre Dame, but the Cardinal pulled out a photo-finish win, with just 0.440 seconds separating the three crews. The Sooners, seeded 17th, downed No. 13 Wisconsin by .468 seconds.

In the second varsity eight repechage, the Sooners crossed the line in 7:35.057 for a fourth-place finish. UCLA and Stanford were the leading two boats throughout the race, and OU stuck closely behind Michigan in the battle for third place before the Wolverines pulled away slightly in the final 500 meters for a 3.310-second edge.

The varsity four closed the day's racing for OU with a third-place finish with a time of 8:13.730. The Sooners came in just 2.738 seconds behind Michigan in a tight race for second place that included Harvard and Cornell for the first 1,000 meters. Stanford came in first with a time of 8:07.691 and led throughout the race.

Preparing for the Repechage - 11:15 a.m.

It is almost time for the repechages to begin, and the Sooners' first varsity eight has left the bus to get ready. They will race at 12:20 p.m. ET. The second eight will race at 12:50 and the four will go down the course at 1 p.m. Tune in to all the action with live video and live results from Indianapolis.

Heats Complete - 10:20 a.m.

The morning races for OU are complete, and each boat will race again in the repechages in a few hours. To advance directly to the first pair of semifinals, a boat had to have finished in the top two of their heat. In the four heats, eight teams advanced to the semifinals, and the top two teams in each of two repechages will also advance to the A/B group of semis. The remaining teams will race in the C/D semifinals.

In the first race of the day for OU, the No. 17 varsity eight finished fifth in a strong heat. The Sooners crossed the line in 7:11.629, behind top-ranked USC, No. 9 Harvard, No. 8 Yale and No. 16 Washington State. The Trojans and Crimson advanced directly to the A/B semifinals.

The heat for the 14th-ranked second varsity eight was nearly as challenging, but the Sooners finished in fourth with a time of 7:19.672. The Sooners battled No. 11 Notre Dame for third place, but settled for fourth. OU beat No. 19 Gonzaga and No. 22 Marist. No. 3 USC, No. 6 Princeton finished first and second.

In the varsity four, the Sooners, ranked 17th, finished third in 8:20.911 and upset No. 8 Wisconsin and No. 16 Cornell. No. 1 Cal and No. 9 Washington State earned an automatic berth in the top semifinals.

Varsity Eight on the Water - 7:47 a.m.




Championship Back On - 7:05 a.m.

The strong storms have passed, and we are scheduled to begin racing at 8 a.m. ET. From the updated schedule of last night, everything is pushed back exactly one hour. OU's first race will be at 8:40.

Weather Delay - 6:20 a.m.

The team just arrived at the course for the morning's races, and as soon as they arrived at their tent, lightning was spotted and we are now in a weather delay. Strong storms are expected, so everyone has been asked to clear the area and return to the team buses. We will provide updates as they become available.

It's Race Day! - 5:47 a.m.

At long last, it is NCAA Championship race day. For the Sooners, it is a journey that started just over five years ago when the program was founded. The goal of racing at the national championship picked up speed this season and became a reality with OU's conference title. Now, that opportunity to race in college rowing's premiere event is finally here. The first race for OU is at 7:40 a.m. ET.

Here are some features and previews to set the stage for this weekend's competition:

OU Ready for First NCAA Championship - The Oklahoman
Sooners No Longer Newcomers - Norman Transcript
OU Accomplishes More Than Expected in Last Five Years - OU Daily
OU Makes NCAA Championship Debut Friday - SoonerSports.com
2013 NCAA Rowing Championships Start Friday - USRowing.com

  Thursday, May 30
Goodnight - 10:06 p.m.
The bad news is the bus leaves the hotel tomorrow at 5:30 a.m. ET. The good news is that it will finally be NCAA Championship race day! In the meantime, we need to get some sleep. See you tomorrow right here with all the updates!

Weather Changes Friday's Schedule - 6:15 p.m.

Due to thunderstorms expected in the area for much of tomorrow, the heat and repechage schedule has been updated schedule. Friday's first race for the Sooners, the varsity eight heat, will be at 7:40 a.m. ET. OU's second varsity eight will race at 8:40, while the varsity four will leave the starting line at 9 a.m. The repechages for Division I, II and III are scheduled for 11 a.m.-12:10 p.m.

Waiting is the Hardest Part - 4 p.m.

The long wait is nearly over; the NCAA Championship is almost here. OU will not practice this afternoon at the course, but everyone is doing some light stretching as a boat. The team will take it easy this evening before an early morning tomorrow. The highlight of today was Kim Moldenhauer winning the Elite 89 Award at the NCAA banquet. Take a complete look back at the final practice day in Indianapolis by clicking on the photo below.

OU Rowing in Tennessee

Kim Moldenhauer wins NCAA Elite 89 Award - 1:30 p.m.

Congratulations to sophomore Kim Moldenhauer, the recipient of the NCAA’s Elite 89 Award at the championship banquet. An international business major from Bremen, Germany, she is the first OU student-athlete to earn the award.

For the complete story, click on the photo below of Kim with her Elite 89 award and Coach Crain.

OU Rowing in Tennessee

Oklahoma Strong - 9 a.m.
Practice is underway, and the Sooners are sporting a different look today. In support of the victims and those affected by the tornados, the team and staff are wearing light blue shirts with the "Oklahoma HOME" logo. The back says "Oklahoma Strong," while there is an OU logo on the right sleeve. The light blue - the color of the state flag - looks great on the water with the team's crimson hats and oars.

Photos  
Twitter: #OklahomaStrong

Very Early Morning - 6:15 a.m.

It is 6:15 a.m. ET in Indianapolis, and we're on our way to Eagle Creek Park for a short morning practice. The NCAA banquet is scheduled for 10:30 downtown, so everyone is practicing early. Additionally, thunderstorms are expected this afternoon, so time on the water this morning is important.

  Wednesday, May 29
The Day in Pictures - 7:45 p.m.
We have just finished dinner at the hotel after the first day of NCAA Championship practice in Indianapolis. It's an early and busy day tomorrow, and with a late night yesterday, it'll be early to bed for the Sooners. The bus leaves for the course at 6:15 a.m. ET for a morning practice before the NCAA banquet.

Don't miss all the photos from today, or click on the photo below.

OU Rowing in Tennessee

Done with Practice - 4:50 p.m.

Practice is complete, the boats are back on land on tees and the team is heading back to the hotel. It was a beautiful sunny day, but wind made for a choppy course, and each crew came back with some extra water in the boat. OU's three boats practiced for about an hour and a half at Eagle Creek Park, along with most of the other 21 teams. Combined with six Division II teams and eight Division III teams, there was a lot of activity on the water and in the team area. Check back shortly for a complete photo gallery from today's practice.

Photos  
Instagram: Launching for the First Practice in Indy

First Practice at Eagle Creek Park - 1:45 p.m.
The Sooners have just arrived at the course in Indianapolis. The schedule for this afternoon includes rigging the boats, doing an official weigh-in for the boats and practice on the Eagle Creek Reservoir. As we drove in to the park, the reality of being at the NCAA Championship really set in. Signs with the NCAA logo and "2013 NCAA Rowing Championship" throughout the park adds some extra excitement to today's practice and the weekend ahead.

Lazy Morning in Indianapolis- 9 a.m. ET
With a late arrival last night and practice in the afternoon, it's a relaxed morning for the team. Breakfast at the hotel just wrapped up, and the Sooners will have the rest of the morning off before lunch and afternoon practice.

  Tuesday, May 28
Landed in Indy, Off to Bed - 12:50 a.m. ET, Wednesday
The team had an uneventful flight to Indianapolis and just arrived at their downtown hotel. Since it's nearly 1 a.m. ET, it will be a light morning at the hotel before going to the course tomorrow afternoon.

Photos  
Instagram: Indianapolis from the Sky

The Sooners in Houston? - 7:30 p.m.

While not the most direct way to get to Indianapolis, the route to the NCAA Championship goes through Houston for the Sooners. After a quick flight from Oklahoma City to Houston, the team is waiting to take a 2.5 hour flight to Indianapolis.

Regional Coach, Assistant and Rower of the Year - 5 p.m.

Awards keep on coming for the Sooners, who earned three regional accolades from the Collegiate Rowing Coaches Association today.

Head Coach Leeanne Crain was named the Regional Coach of the Year, graduate assistant Kelsey Witten was named the Regional Assistant Coach of the Year and senior Nikki Furmanek was named to the All-Region First Team.

Additionally, Ivy Brown, Rachel Cantrell, Kristin Clift, Laura Combs, Brooke Holleman, Marilyn Kozlowski, Kim Moldenhauer, Jennifer O'Grady, Kelsey O'Grady, Emmie Preskitt and Furmanek earned the CRCA Scholar Athlete Award.

As the Sooners get ready to take off for Indianapolis, check out the full release here.

Off to the Airport - 3:06 p.m.

The bus, with 25 rowers, four coaches and two staff members, is leaving Norman and on its way to the airport. Before leaving, Coach Crain and seniors Nikki Furmanek and Carly Schuler spoke with several members of the media about the upcoming championship. Be on the lookout for articles in The Oklahoman, Norman Transcript and OU Daily in the upcoming days. When available, links will be posted here as well.

Photos  
Instagram: Pre-NCAA Interviews

Last Practice in OKC - 9 a.m.

The team has just gotten off the water after their last practice in Oklahoma City. It was a windy morning on the Oklahoma River, but the high banks helped shield much of the wind. The Sooners will de-rig the boats and load them onto the trailer for the drive to Indianapolis. Our boatman, Karl Mosley, will leave in about two hours and meet us at Eagle Creek Park tomorrow.

  Monday, May 27
Happy Memorial Day
On this Memorial Day, thank you to all military members who have sacrificed for our country. Thank you to everyone who has served and are currently serving at home and abroad. We honor those who have fought for our country and remember everything they have done and continue to do to protect our freedom and keep us safe. Thank you.

  Sunday, May 26
A Record Setting Year for OU Athletics - 5:30 p.m.
Congratulations to the Sooner baseball team on its Big 12 title! The team becomes the seventh OU squad to win a conference championship, the most in one year in OU history. What began in the fall with football's Big 12 win continued with women's gymnastics, men's gymnastics, men's tennis and softball in the spring, in addition to rowing and baseball. Before this season, six Oklahoma teams won conference crowns in a season twice, in 1977-78 and 1954-55.

Additionally, in their fifth season, rowing became the fifth-fastest OU team to win a conference title. The women's tennis team leads the way with a conference crown in 1975, just one year after its first season. In their third season, the Sooner men's golf team won a Big Six title in 1935.

With regular season and conference tournament titles the norm in many sports, OU's two league titles this year is not that uncommon. Men's tennis, baseball, men's basketball, women's basketball and softball have all claimed two conference titles in the same season, though all of their dual titles came in the regular season and in the postseason championship.

  Saturday, May 25
NCAA Championship Fan Info - 12 p.m.
The support from Sooners fans at every race this year has been tremendous, especially at the Big 12 and Conference USA Championships. Below is some information for fans planning on attending the NCAA Championship May 31-June 2 at Eagle Creek Park in Indianapolis.

Tickets can be purchased prior to May 30 at Ticketmaster.com. After May 30, tickets can only be purchased on-site at Eagle Creek Park (Cash Only). All session tickets are $40 for adults and $25 for students, seniors and children. Single day tickets are available for $15 for adults and $10 for students, seniors and children.

Parking is available for $10 a day at the Mary and John Geisse Soccer Complex, 5425 Reed Road in Indianapolis. A shuttle will take you to to and from Eagle Creek Park. Three day parking passes are available for $25.

For more information about attending the NCAA Championship, go to IndianaSportsCorp.org.

  Friday, May 24
One Week - 8:10 a.m.
In exactly one week, the first heat of the varsity eight race will be underway, signaling OU's entrance into the NCAA Championship. For the first time, the crimson and cream -and the Big 12 Conference - will be represented at the national championship. The Sooners' first appearance at the NCAAs marks a significant milestone in the program's history. As the varsity eight leaves the starting dock at 8:10 a.m. CT next Friday, this year's championship will officially beginning. It will be the start of the first chapter in what we hope will be a long and storied history of OU in the NCAA Championship for years to come.

  Thursday, May 23
Breaking Down the 2013 NCAA Championship - 11 a.m.
The Sooners will be one of 22 teams to compete for a national title next weekend in Indianapolis. In addition to 10 other automatic qualifiers, 11 at large teams were selected. First held in 1997, OU is the first Big 12 team and just the second program in the 11-team Conference USA to be selected to the NCAA Championship.

Of the 21 other teams, OU has raced No. 3 Ohio State, No. 4 Virginia, No. 6 California, No. 7 UCLA, No. 10 Stanford, No. 12 Michigan and No. 14 Cornell.

Heats will be held May 31, with semifinals on June 1 and finals on June 2. Points will be awarded on a team’s final placing in each event.

The Sooners earned the 17th seed in the varsity eight event and will race in the first of four heats against No. 1 USC, No. 8 Yale, No. 9 Harvard and No. 16 Washington State.

In the second varsity eight, OU is ranked 14th. Oklahoma will compete against No. 3 USC, No. 6 Princeton, No. 11 Notre Dame, No. 19 Gonzaga and No. 22 Marist in its heat.

The varsity four finds the Sooners with a 17 seed and will race against No. 1 California, No. 8 Wisconsin, No. 9 Washington State and No. 16 Cornell.

  Wednesday, May 22
OklaHOME - 4:45 p.m.
Eleven rowers spent the afternoon in Moore helping a family move out of their home damaged by Monday's tornado. To drive through the town, amidst destroyed homes and families trying to collect their belongings, was an experience no one will forget. The opportunity to help the community recover was a humbling experience.

A friend of one of the rowers, the family's home wasn't destroyed, but it was damaged enough that they had to move out. Just several houses down, nothing was saved.

Since Monday's storm, the number of volunteers and people willing to help from across the state and country has been amazing. To see people rally around the communities affected by the Tornado is what makes this state so special.

To see photos from the team's cleanup efforts in Moore, go to our Facebook page. Additionally, the men's and women's gymnastics teams also were in Moore today. Other OU teams have also volunteered their time both in Norman and around the state.

OU Rowing in Tennessee

  Tuesday, May 21
The Field of 22 - 4:30 p.m.
The NCAA Championship field was officially announced about half an hour ago. The field of 22 teams included OU, which earned one of 11 automatic bids with its Conference USA title. The national championship will be held May 31-June 2 at Indianapolis' Eagle Creek Park. The complete announcement, including a rundown of who the Sooners will face in the heats, can be found here.

Doing Their Part to Help - 1 p.m.

The Sooners had practice this morning in Norman, but there are more important things to worry about. With yesterday's tornado in Moore and the surrounding area, our thoughts and prayers are with all those affected. Everyone on the team is safe and accounted for, and the team will do anything they can to help.

With the roster trimmed down to about 25 rowers for the NCAA Championship, the team and coaches collected over $2,000 amongst themselves and spent the morning getting for supplies and necessities for the families that lost their homes and are staying in the OU dorms.

The team, other OU sports and the OU Athletics Department will continue to volunteer in any way possible this week and for the weeks and months to come. To learn how you can help, go to SoonerSports.com.

Photos  
Twitter: Unloading Supplies

  Monday, May 20
The Season Continues - 10:20 a.m.
At the beginning of the season, OU's goal was to win two conference titles and earn a berth to the national championship. Two weeks ago, the Sooners were crowned Big 12 champions, while OU won the Conference USA title Saturday. Because the Big 12 only has five teams, the C-USA Championship acts as an automatic qualifier for the NCAA Championship.

This morning, the goal of making the NCAA Championship became more of a reality with OU's first-ever practice after the conference championship. In just their fifth season, the Sooners will make their first NCAA appearance and become the first Big 12 school to race against the nation's best at the national championship.

The complete NCAA field will be announced tomorrow at 4 p.m. CT on NCAA.com. The Sooners will watch the event as a team at the stadium.

  Sunday, May 19
Taking a Look Back at History - 1 p.m.
As the Sooners look back on yesterday's Conference USA title and ahead to the NCAA Championship, there are a few individual notes worth remembering, outside of OU's first team title and wins in the second varsity eight, varsity four and open four.

Head coach Leeanne Crain was named the Conference USA Coach of the Year, while senior captain Nikki Furmanek earned Rower of the Year honors for the second straight season. Freshman Taylor Gillespie was named the Newcomer of the Year. Both Crain and Furmanek also earned Big 12 Coach and Rower of the Year accolades.

Additionally, Furmanek and fellow seniors Meghan Farrell, Ashley LaFollette and Rebecca Staff were named to the C-USA All-Conference Team.

OU Rowing in Tennessee

A complete recap of yesterday's C-USA win can be found here or by clicking on the photo above of the Sooners' cheering section in Tennessee. Photos from Oak Ridge, Tenn., are available here.

  Saturday, May 18
Home Sweet Home - 9 p.m.
The team has landed in Oklahoma City after the Conference USA Championship and this time, it's not their last trip. The last three trips home from the conference championship signaled the end of OU's season. The Sooners will have a little over a week of training in Oklahoma before going on the road again, this time to Indianapolis and the NCAA Championship.

Heading Back to Norman with a Trophy! - 6:45 p.m.

After a celebration at Melton Hill Lake that involved a trophy presentation, plenty of awards and several coxswains getting thrown in the lake, the Sooners made a quick trip back to the hotel and are now on their way to the airport.

A recap of today's championship win, including reaction from the Sooners, full results and more is available here or by clicking on the photo below. Photos from Oak Ridge, Tenn., can be found here.

OU Rowing in Tennessee

Conference Champs and on to the NCAAs! - 4:15 p.m.

For the second time this season, the Sooners are conference champions!

Two weeks after capturing its first Big 12 title, OU backed it up with win in the Conference USA Championship to secure the program's first NCAA Championship berth.

The Sooners, in their fifth season as a varsity program, won their first C-USA title with a wins in three races and second-place finishes in the other two events. OU earned a total of 63 points, ahead of Tennessee's 57 and Texas' 56.

We'll have much more on today's win right here on Championship Central, so stay tuned.

One Down One Win - 2:04 p.m.

In the first grand final of the afternoon, the open four notched an open-water win with a time of 7:33.30 for OU's first win. The Sooners finished over six seconds ahead of Tennessee to claim the conference title. The varsity four race, the first of three scoring events, is about to get underway.

Time for the Finals - 12:40 p.m.

The first race of the finals is one hour away, with the open four petite final at 1:40, followed by the grand final at 1:50 p.m. CT. OU's first two boats have already arrived at the course, and the three eights are on their way to Melton Hill Lake.

All five Sooner boats advanced to the grand finals in their respective races. In addition to the open four, the varsity four will race at 2:10, the second varsity eight at 2:30 followed by the varsity eight at 2:50. The Championship closes with the novice eight race at 3 p.m. in a seven boat final. The 2013 champion will be determined by a team's finish in the varsity eight, second varsity eight and varsity four events.

The complete heat sheet and schedule can be found here.

Break for Lunch, Schedule Adjustment - 10:20 a.m.

Racing is complete for the morning, and the Sooners are heading back to the hotel to rest and have lunch. While there is still a heavy fog and light rain, the thunderstorms originally expected for this afternoon will likely hold off. The finals will be held as scheduled, with one exception. The novice eight race, with only seven teams entered, will move from the first race of the afternoon to the last. As such, racing will begin at 1:40 with the open four event.

Full results from this morning's races can be found here.

Foggy Rowing - 9:45 a.m.

Through a thick fog that prevented anyone from seeing the boats from the shore, the morning races were completed. Times are still coming in, but OU won four of the five heats it raced in and advanced all five boats to the finals.

The varsity four finished second with a 7:37.68, just 1.98 seconds behind Tennessee.

In the novice eight, OU notched a 7:03.80, nearly seven seconds ahead of UCF and 19 seconds ahead of Alabama. With only seven teams in the two heats, every crew will race in a seven boat final.

The open four closed the morning with a 7:33.70 to win its heat. Tennessee finished second, 3.89 behind the Sooners, while Kansas came in third.



Varsity Four Advances Through the Fog- 8:54 a.m.

The fog has made visibility from the shore nearly impossible, but it appears as if the varsity four finished first or second in the first heat and will advance to the finals. OU has advanced to the finals in all three events used to determine a conference champion.

Win for the Second Varsity Eight - 8:36 a.m.

With the fog getting thicker, the second varsity eight won its heat with a 6:50.00, over six seconds faster than Texas. West Virginia also advanced out of OU's heat to the finals.

Photos  
Twitter: Varsity Eight Winning Margin

Varsity Eight Advances with Win - 8:21 a.m.

In the first race of the day, OU's varsity eight posted a 6:46.10 to win its heat by 2.57 seconds over Kansas and 3.43 seconds over West Virginia. The Sooners, Jayhawks and Mountaineers all advance to this afternoon's finals.

First Race About to Get Underway - 7:50 a.m.

OU's first and second varsity eights have launched, and the first heat of the varsity eight race is about 10 minutes away. The Sooners' first eight is in a heat against West Virginia, Tulsa, Kansas and Old Dominion. The top three finishers in each heat advance to this afternoon's final.



Championship Saturday - 6 a.m.

Two weeks after winning a Big 12 title, its race day again for the Sooners. Half the team is on its way to Melton Hill Lake now, while the other half, which races later in the morning, will leave in about 45 minutes. The first race is scheduled for 8 a.m. with the varsity eight heats.

It's raining as we drive to the course, but with no thunderstorms, the schedule should not be delayed this morning. However, thunderstorms are expected this afternoon, so the coaches and conference officials will meet after this morning's races to discuss an alternative finals schedule to try and dodge the storms.

To stay connected with all the action from Oak Ridge, Tenn., follow along here or on Twitter for live results and updates. Learn more about today's championship with the full preview, race notes and take a look inside one OU boat in yesterday's practice photo gallery.

  Friday, May 17
It's Almost Here - 9 p.m.
Twelve hours from now, the first race of the Conference USA Championship will be underway. As the Sooners get set to compete for the program's first bid to the NCAA Championship, don't miss the full preview, race notes and photos from today's practice.

OU Rowing in Tennessee

Dodged the Rain, Planned for Tomorrow - 6:30 p.m.

Despite the fact it was raining when the Sooners were en route to practice, it stopped just as they arrived at the course. The five OU crews got in a short workout in humid, warm and cloudy conditions. The team just got back to the hotel and will have dinner. With the first race at 8 a.m. CT tomorrow, it will be an early morning.

After practice, two meetings were held, one with the coaches and coxswains, and the second just with the coaches and regatta officials. The first meeting, which occurs the night before or morning of every regatta, went through the details of the course, the traffic pattern and other raceday details. With bad weather expected for much of tomorrow afternoon, the coaches met to discuss various options. The morning heat races will be held as scheduled, with another meeting scheduled to determine the afternoon schedule, with more information about the weather. The consensus among everyone involved was it was important to race the three NCAA events - the varsity eight, second varsity eight and varsity four. Those are the three events used to determine a conference champions, and an automatic berth in the NCAA Championship.

We'll have full updates throughout the day tomorrow. Stay tuned to Championship Central and Twitter for results, weather updates and more. Check back later tonight for a full preview, photos from today's practice and more.

Afternoon Relaxation - 3:15 p.m.

The Sooners are heading back to Melton Hill Lake for a short afternoon practice. The team had a relaxing afternoon after this morning's practice. We've been luck to dodge rain so far, but it is currently raining as we drive to the course. Hopefully it won't be too bad during practice.

Cloudy Practice - 10:45 a.m.

Practice is complete and the team is back at the hotel having lunch. The Sooners will have some time to rest this afternoon before going back to Melton Hill Lake for a short practice this evening. OU's five crews went up and down the course several times during practice to get used to the intricacies of the course.

To get set for tomorrow's championship, check out OU's race notes, which includes a full preview, a look back at Oklahoma's C-USA history and more.

A full photo gallery from the today's events will be available after this evening's practice, in addition to a full practice report.

Morning Practice with 24 Hours to Go - 7:35 a.m.

The team just arrived at Melton Hill Lake for practice, with just over 24 hours until the first race of the Conference USA Championship. It's a warm and cloudy day in Tennessee, with a thin layer of fog on parts of the lake. The lake is calm, making for ideal practice conditions. As the Sooners hit the water for a two hour practice, they'll do so at the same time as their heat races tomorrow. The championship begins with heat racing from 8-9:30 a.m. CT before the finals from 1:20-2:50 p.m. CT.

  Thursday, May 16
Dinner and Photos - 5:25 p.m.
The Sooners just arrived at the hotel after a great practice in Oak Ridge, Tenn. It was a beautiful afternoon, with plenty of sunshine and warm weather. The water was flat, and all five boats got in a good workout on the course. Melton Hill Lake is a perfect site for rowing, and the setting is fantastic with some mountains in the background and plenty of greenery along the shore.

OU Rowing in Tennessee

The team is about to have dinner at the hotel and will rest up before heading back to Oak Ridge tomorrow morning. Check out a complete photo gallery from today's practice, or click on the photo above.

Great Practice on Melton Hill Lake - 3:10 p.m.

The Sooners just arrived at the hotel after a great practice in Oak Ridge, Tenn. It was a beautiful afternoon, with plenty of sunshine and warm weather. The water was flat, and all five boats got in a nice workout. Melton Hill Lake is a perfect site for rowing, and the setting is fantastic with the mountains in the background and plenty of greenery along the shore. Stay tuned later for a full photo gallery from today's practice.

On the Water in Oak Ridge - 12:40 p.m.

We have arrived at Melton Hill Lake in Oak Ridge, Tenn., and the Sooners have just finished rigging the boats. A local sandwich shop delivered a great lunch for us to the course, which will fuel the team through this afternoon's practice.

Video  Vine: Rigging Boats

Hello Tennessee - 10:32 a.m.

Through the Smokey Mountains, the Sooners have landed in Knoxville. It was smooth ride, and most of the team was able to catch up on some sleep. We'll get on the bus and head to Melton Hill Lake now for practice on the race course.

Photos  Twitter: Landing in Tennessee

Loading the Plane - 9 a.m.


Off to the Airport - 7:50 a.m.

A bus full of Sooners, which includes 41 rowers, four coaches, two trainers and two staff members, has departed Norman. We are en route to the airport, where we'll fly to Knoxville, Tenn. for this weekend's championship. We'll have continued updates right here throughout the day, but be sure to follow along on Twitter for the journey in 140 characters or less.

  Wednesday, May 15
Smart Sooners - 3:50 p.m.
Conference USA announced the 2013 All-Academic Team, which includes a conference-high three OU rowers in Ivy Brown, Nikki Furmanek and Kim Moldenhauer.

The all-academic team, which consists of 19 student-athletes, was voted on by the league's sports information directors. Texas also had three, while all 11 C-USA members had at least one selection.

It is the third Conference USA all-academic selection for Furmanek and the second for Brown, both seniors. Moldenhauer, a sophomore, was honored for the first time.

The full release can be found here.

Last Practice in Oklahoma - 10:15 a.m.

The Sooners held their last practice this morning in Oklahoma City. Tomorrow, they'll fly to Oak Ridge, Tenn., for the Conference USA Championship. It was another productive morning on the water as the team makes its final preparations for this weekend.

Photos  Twitter: Coach Crain and the Sooners

  Tuesday, May 14
48 Hours - 1:30 p.m.
Just 48 hours from now, the Sooners will have landed in Knoxville, Tenn., and made the short drive to the racecourse at Melton Hill Lake. The team will rig the boats and practice on the 2,000 meter course Thursday afternoon.

The Sooners depart Norman Thursday morning and will take a chartered flight from Oklahoma City to Knoxville. After practice in Oak Ridge, Tenn., that afternoon, they'll have a team meal at the hotel. Friday's schedule includes practice and rest before Saturday's conference championship.

We'll have live updates from team headquarters in Knoxville throughout the weekend, so stay tuned to Championship Central as the Sooners go for a second conference title and a berth in the NCAA Championship.

  Monday, May 13
Sooners Host Team Banquet, Hand Out Awards - 3:20 p.m.
The Oklahoma rowing team hosted its annual team banquet Sunday night at the Lloyd Noble Center. Coming off its first Big 12 title, there was much to celebrate for the fifth-year program.

The evening began with the presentation of several awards for both the varsity and novice squads. The awards were voted on by the team.

2013 OU Rowing Banquet

Senior captain Nikki Furmanek was named the Most Valuable Rower. The 2013 Big 12 Rower of the Year, she was in OU's top boat all four years and has been an instrumental part of the program's growth.

Fellow senior Rebecca Winchester earned the Most Inspirational award. As the stroke seat in the second varsity eight this year, Winchester's work ethic, positive attitude and leadership helped her boat earn four Boat of the Week honors this season before winning the Big 12 championship race last weekend.

The Scholar-Athlete Award is given annually to the rower with the highest GPA. Kim Moldenhauer was earned a 4.0 while majoring in International Business. She has raced in the varsity four, second varsity eight and first varsity eight this year.

Freshmen Taylor Gillespie and Jessica Hogan received the Outstanding Freshman Award, given annually to the top first-year rower. The pair split the award after both spent the entire year in the second varsity eight.

A new award this year is the Crimson Hammer Award, given to senior captain Rebecca Staff. The award will be given annually to the rower with the year's top score on the ergometer.

On the novice squad, Meredith Thornton was named the Most Valuable Rower, while first-year coxswain Tori Todt earned the award for Most Inspirational.

After the awards presentation, OU's 14 seniors were recognized and presented with a framed photo collection. Each of the seniors then said a few words of thanks to their family, friends and coaches.

The 2013 senior class, the most successful in OU Rowing history, includes Kristen Anthis, Ivy Brown, Meghan Farrell, Nikki Furmanek, Brooke Holleman, Heather House, Ashley LaFollette, Kelsey O'Grady, Carly Schueler, Olivia Staff, Rebecca Staff, Tori Todt, Chloe Troutt and Rebecca Winchester.

The banquet closed with a slideshow featuring some of the most memorable moments of the 2012-2013 season.

Photos from the evening can be found here or by clicking on the photo above.

  Sunday, May 12
Celebrating the Season, Seniors - 10 p.m.
The 2013 OU Rowing Team Banquet is in the books. Awards were handed out, each of the 14 seniors spoke about their time as Sooners and the head coach Leeanne Crain thanked the team, staff and families for their hard work and support this season. The evening closed with a video looking back on the season. Below is a list of the award winners. A full recap and photos from tonight's banquet will be posted here tomorrow.

Most Valuable Rower - Nikki Furmanek
Most Inspirational - Rebecca Winchester
Scholar-Athlete Award - Kim Moldenhauer
Outstanding Freshman - Taylor Gillespie & Jessica Hogan
Crimson Hammer Award - Rebecca Staff
Most Valuable Novice - Meredith Thornton
Most Inspirational Novice - Tori Todt

Team Banquet - 12 p.m.
To cap off graduation weekend and the official end of the academic year, the team banquet will be held tonight in celebration of the 2012-13 OU rowing season. While the season isn't over yet, it will be an opportunity to honor the seniors, look back on a record-setting season and hand out awards in front of family and friends. We'll announce the award winners right here tonight, and check back tomorrow for a full recap and photos.

  Saturday, May 11
Very Early Morning Practice - 9:15 a.m.
With nine rowers graduating this weekend, the Sooners practiced at 5 a.m. this morning. The early morning on the Oklahoma River marks one week until the Conference USA Championship and the chance to race for a bid to the NCAA Championship.

OU also competes for a C-USA title because with five schools in the Big 12 sponsoring rowing, the league is one team shy of an automatic qualifier into the NCAA Championship. In addition to the five Big 12 schools, the 11-team Conference USA features Alabama and Tennessee from the SEC in addition to Old Dominion, SMU, Tulsa, UCF. The winner of this weekend's championship earns an automatic bid to the NCAA Championship in Indianapolis May 31-June 2.

  Friday, May 10
End of Finals, Graduation Weekend - 4:45 p.m.
Final exams, graduation, Bedlam and two NCAA events make for a very busy weekend in Norman. Final exams concluded today, and commencement activities begin tonight on Owen Field. Additionally, the OU softball and baseball teams play Oklahoma State in a critical pair of in-state matchups and the men's tennis and women's golf teams host NCAA Regionals.

A record 151 student-athletes will receive their degrees this weekend, a total that includes 12 current and former rowers. Current student-athletes Kristen Anthis, Meghan Farrell, Brooke Holleman, Heather House, Megan Quinn, Rebecca Staff, Tori Todt and Rebecca Winchester, in addition to former rowers Amber Coyne and Isabelle Stewart will walk across the stage at Memorial Stadium tonight. Additionally, Nikki Furmanek and Brooke Homer completed their degrees in the fall and have already begun graduate programs.

A complete look at all the student-athletes graduating this weekend can be found here.

  Thursday, May 9
Big 12 Coach, Rower of the Year - 3:20 p.m.
Congratulations to head coach Leeanne Crain and senior Nikki Furmanek, the Big 12 Coach of the Year and Big 12 Rower of the Year!

It is the second-straight season Crain and Furmanek have been honored. OU's head coach was named Co-Coach of the Year by the Big 12 last season, while Furmanek earned Conference USA Rower of the Year honors in 2012. OU's Rebecca Staff earned co-Rower of the Year honors last season.

The conference also announced today that West Virginia's Elizabeth Kantak is the Newcomer of the Year, while Kansas' Liz Scherer was named the Scholar-Athlete of the Year.

A full release, which includes comments from Crain and Furmanek, is available here.

  Wednesday, May 8
Up Before the Crack of Dawn - 4:15 p.m.
There's something special about starting your day before the sun comes up. For collegiate rower programs across the country, morning practice is the norm. Bodies of water and boathouses are abuzz with activity before sunrise. Within the rowing community, the early morning practices are a badge of honor.

At OU, practice typically starts at 6 a.m. By 9 a.m., as most people are starting their days, the Sooners have been off the water for nearly an hour and the next part of the day has begun. There's a sense of pride in being on the water to watch the sun rise.

Sunrise on the Oklahoma River with OU Rowing

"There is a sense of pride, to walk into the cafeteria every morning knowing you were done with your workout before lots of people even woke up," senior Meghan Farrell said. "It's cool to get up early and have a longer day. It's nice because you have more time for classes and to study throughout the day."

Morning practices serve several purposes. For one, the water is usually better, and the sunrises are usually picture-perfect over a calm river. Just as importantly, it allows the student-athletes to be students during the day. Practices don't disrupt class schedules, and there's nothing in the way of an afternoon class.

"It takes a lot of dedication to get up before 5 a.m. every day, going to practice when it's dark out," senior Nikki Furmanek said. "It's a nice sense of accomplishment when you get off the water and the sun's up and you've just put in a really hard workout. It sets your day off right and it's a great way to be with your teammates early in the morning."

In the ultimate team sport, where all eight athletes need to be perfectly in sync with each other, that connection amongst teammates is important. Rowers just happen to make that connection a lot earlier in the day than anyone else.

  Tuesday, May 7
Dress Like a Champion - 11:20 a.m.
Do you want to celebrate the Sooners' first Big 12 title, show your support for OU rowing and look great all at the same time? Order the official 2013 Big 12 Champions t-shirt! The crimson shirt is available in most sizes in both standard and women's slim fit styles.

OU Rowing: Big 12 Champions

  Monday, May 6
The Next Twelve Days - 1:45 p.m.
The Sooners were back on the water this morning, preparing for next weekend's Conference USA Championship and a chance to qualify for their first NCAA Championship. It's also final exams here at OU, so there's an added emphasis to both academics and athletics this week.

In just ten days, May 16, the team will depart for Oak Ridge, Tenn. to compete for a C-USA title on May 18. Until then, don't miss daily updates from the Oklahoma River and team headquarters in Norman right here on Championship Central. We'll take a look at the historical impact of Saturday's Big 12 title, the Sooners' approach to next weekend's championship, Sunday's team banquet and much more.

  Sunday, May 5
The Day After - 12 p.m.
Yesterday was fun! It's been just over 24 hours since the Sooners won their first Big 12 title. In just their fifth season, the team shattered school and conference records this season. As the varsity eight crossed the finish line to secure the championship, a celebration ensued that was five years in the making.

This isn't the end though. The Sooners still have another championship race, one that will guarantee them a spot in the NCAA Championship for the first time. With five Big 12 schools sponsoring rowing, the league is one team shy of an automatic qualifier into the national championship. On May 18, OU will compete in the 11-team Conference USA Championship, where the winner earns an automatic berth to NCAAs. In addition to the five Big 12 schools, Alabama, Old Dominion, SMU, Tennessee, Tulsa and UCF also race in C-USA.

The Sooners get back to work on Monday. In the meantime, take a look back with photos and a complete recap from Saturday's win.

OU Rowing: Big 12 Champions

  Saturday, May 4
Back in Oklahoma - 8 p.m.
An exciting day has officially come to an end as the Sooners have arrived safely in Norman. OU's work isn't done though, as they return to the water Monday to prepare for the Conference USA Championship in two weeks. The winner of that event, in Oak Ridge, Tenn., gets an automatic bid to the NCAA Championship.

Relive all the action from this morning's win with the race recap, which includes notes, comments from Coach Crain and more. Additionally, photos from the races and the ensuing celebration can be found here. Be sure to stay tuned to this page for daily notes, behind-the-scenes updates and more as the Sooners prepare to compete for a C-USA title.

Photos  Twitter: The Trophy is Home

The Trophy is Coming to Norman! - 1:20 p.m.

The last hour and a half has been full of celebration. The Sooners received their first Big 12 Championship trophy, the three winning boats got their medals, and countless photos were taken. For a team that finished second the last three seasons, it was a moment worth enjoying. Carly Schueler, Jessica Hogan and Ashley Carpenter, coxswains of the three winning boats, were even thrown into the water, as is tradition with winning crews.

The team is just about to leave for home. Coach Crain just played a voice message from OU's athletics director, Joe Castiglione, congratulating the team on the win. It was a nice way to get the drive home started.

Don't miss the race recap, which will be updated with additional notes, reaction and more shortly. Additionally, photos from Kansas City can be found here or by clicking the photo below:

OU Rowing: Big 12 Champions

Big 12 Champions! - 11:45 a.m.

For the first time in the program's five-year history, the Sooners are conference champions! The varsity eight won the final race of the day to give OU 136 points, ahead of Texas' 117 points.

The viewing area for the teams and fans is about 1,500 meters down the course, so the atmosphere was electric as the boats approached the final stretch. The Sooners had a lead of nearly a boat length over Texas at that point, and the excitement within the team was pretty special. Many of the rowers on the shore proceeded to run for the next 250 meters, cheering on their teammates to victory.

The trophy presentation is coming up, and medals will be awarded to the championship boats in each event. Stay tuned for much more from Kansas City after the trophy presentation.

Photos  Twitter: Varsity Eight Victory Margin

First Place with One Race to Go - 11:13 a.m.

OU has taken the lead thanks to a dominating win by the second varsity eight, which crossed the line in 6:34.24, nearly seven seconds ahead of Kansas and over 11 seconds in front of Texas. It gives the Sooners a 77-73 lead with just the varsity eight race to go.

Before the second varsity eight race, the first varsity four claimed OU's first win of the day. The boat finished in 7:18.92, nearly two seconds ahead of UT. Kansas got out to an early lead, but the Sooners quickly overtook them and led the rest of the race.

Sooners in Second Halfway Through - 10:35 a.m.

Three races have been held, with three more to go at the Big 12 Championship. At the halfway point, the Sooners are in second with 19 overall points. Texas leads with 24 points. The points increase with each race, as does the differential between finishes in each race, so it's still anyone's race.

The first race of the day was the fourth varsity eight, where OU finished third in 6:42.48 and earned three points. It was a very tight race throughout, but Kansas won in 6:41.72 and got five points, followed by Texas with four points. The margin between the three schools was just 0.86 seconds.

In the third varsity eight, the Sooners finished second with a 6:49.07 and got eight points. Texas won and earned 10 points.

The second varsity four was another close race, and OU crossed the line in 7:34.17 for second place, 0.5 seconds ahead of Kansas. The Sooners earned another eight points for a 19 point total halfway through the competition.

Follow along with live results here.

Ten Minutes to Start - 9:30 a.m.

The 2013 Big 12 Championship is about 10 minutes away from starting. The first race of the day will be the fourth varsity eight, followed by the third varsity eight. Follow along with live results, and stay tuned to Twitter for additional updates and photos.

Championship Race Day! - 7:40 a.m.

It's Big 12 Championship race day! The third and fourth varsity eights left for the course about half an hour ago, and both fours will leave in about 20 minutes. Don't miss the full race preview, which includes media notes, a live results link, lineups and more. Stay tuned to this page throughout the morning with continued updates as the Sooners race for their first conference title.

  Friday, May 3
Team Banquet - 7:30 p.m.
The Big 12 team dinner just wrapped up at Sporting Park here in Kansas City. It was an opportunity for the five teams to mingle and celebrate tomorrow's championship. The Academic All-Big 12 teams were honored, which included a conference-high 24 Sooners on the First Team.

Photos  Twitter: Big 12 Dinner

Hotel Erg Room - 3:20 p.m.

Instead of going back to the course and rowing in the cold and rain, the Sooners are getting in some light cardio work on the erg in the hotel. The team set up eight ergs in our team meeting room and is doing 20-minute pieces by boat. After the workout, all the teams will meet for dinner at Sporting Park, home of the MLS' Sporting KC.

Photos  Twitter: Erging at the Hotel

Last Practice - 11:45 a.m.

The Sooners just finished up practice and are heading back to the hotel. Each boat went down the course a couple of times and did various pieces to get acclamated with their surroundings.

Check out all the photos from practice, or click on the picture below to view the gallery.

OU Rowing Team

Practice Underway, All Teams Accounted For - 9:10 a.m.
Three to five inches of snow was expected overnight, but thankfully nothing accumulated, and the Sooners are about to hit the water for practice. The other Big 12 teams - Kansas, Kansas State, Texas and West Virginia - are also here and practicing, so there is plenty of activity on Wyandotte Lake. It's chilly, but thankfully no snow. Stay tuned to photos and a full report after practice.

A Pleasant Morning Surprise - 7:45 a.m.

Three to five inches of snow was expected overnight, but thankfully nothing accumulated. Despite the cold - temperatures are in the mid-30s, the Sooners will practice this morning on the lake. The team is finishing up breakfast, and will head to Wyandotte Lake in about half an hour.

  Thursday, May 2

Rowing Through the Snow and Fog - 7 p.m.
The Sooners just wrapped up practice on Wyandotte Lake here in Kansas City. There was some fog coming off the lake due to the water being warmer than the air, which combined with the snow made for an interesting setting. The team will head to the hotel in downtown KC for dinner before calling it a night. Hopefully the snow won't stick and they'll be able to get on the water again tomorrow.

Photos  Instagram: Fun in the Snow

Rigging in the Snow in May? - 5:30 p.m.

Despite the fact that it's May, the team is rigging boats in the snow. For good measure, the occasional snowball is being thrown around as well. It's not sticking, and it doesn't feel very cold, but it's not a light snow. The weather for tomorrow could prevent the team from practicing due to colder temperatures and an expected three to five inches of snow overnight, so the Sooners are about to head out for a quick row on the lake.

Photos  Twitter: Rigging in the Snow

Hello Kansas City - 4:30 p.m.

The team has arrived in the Kansas City area and will go straight to Wyandotte Lake to rig and row. The lake is about 20 minutes west of the city, in Kansas. It was a somewhat windy drive from Oklahoma City to Kansas City, but with final exams next week, the team had plenty of ways to occupy themselves on the trip.

On the Road - 10 a.m.

Fifty-two student-athletes, four coaches, four staff members and two buses are officially on the road to Kansas City and the Big 12 Championship. Karl Mosley, OU's boatman, got a head start and is en route with eight racing shells and the trailer.

  Wednesday, May 1

Last Practice in OKC
On a beautiful morning in Oklahoma City, the Sooners held their final morning practice on the Oklahoma River before they head north for the Big 12 Championship tomorrow. The team will practice on land in Norman tomorrow morning before a 10 a.m. departure for Kansas City.

Photos  Twitter: Sunrise in OKC

  Monday, April 29

Championship Week is Here
It's Monday, and the Big 12 Championship is finally within sight, just five days away. The Sooners have competed nine times this season and each boat has raced as many as 13 teams. With Saturday's conference championship, and a berth in the program's first NCAA Championship on the line two weeks later, none of the record-breaking success this season matters. The Sooners, in their fifth year as a varsity program at OU, just want to win a title and make the NCAAs for the first time.

OU will compete for its first conference title in Kansas City before the Conference USA Championship on May 18 in Oak Ridge, Tenn. The winner of the C-USA championship earns an automatic bid to the national championship in Indianapolis.
  
  Saturday, April 27

One Week Away
With just a week until the Big 12 Championship, the Sooners had a little fun at the end of morning practice today. The workout ended a little early, so Coach Crain and several staff members switched places with some of the rowers and rowed with the Sooners for the final 2,000 meters. For good measure, the stroke seat in the second varsity eight, Becca Winchester, switched spots with her coxswain, Jessica Hogan.

Photos  Instagram: Practice Shenanigans
 
SoonerSports.com  Championship Central

SoonerSports.com is your official source for the OU rowing team's postseason run. From the Big 12 Conference Championship to the Conference USA Championship and beyond, we'll provide daily updates direct from team headquarters in Kansas City, Norman and Oak Ridge, Tenn. OU rowing Sports Information Director Charlie Healy will post daily reports, videos, photo galleries and features as the Sooners compete for their first conference title and first NCAA Championship appearance.