Rowing team looks to improve despite winning spring season

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Texas rowing is gliding into their fall season on the heels of a spring filled with wins. But they feel like they could do better.

“We weren’t actually very happy with how we ended up last season. We felt we could have done better,” said head coach Carie Graves. “But this year, we have a lot more depth on the team, which should hopefully make a huge difference.”

Texas rowing opens their fall season this Saturday as the squad travels to Oklahoma City, Okla., for the 2010 Head of the Oklahoma.

“The fall season is untraditional, while the spring season is what really matters,” said Graves. “In the fall we participate in longer races, like 3 miles.”

The difficult 2.5-mile head-race course features several turns and bridges before straightening out to a 2,000-meter finish.

“Compare it to a cross-country runner doing training in their off-season. The miler would be running 8-, 9- or 10-mile runs just like we are racing 2,000 meters. Similarly, our off-season features long, slow distance races.”

After capturing their second straight Big 12 conference title last season, Texas went on to conclude their spring season with three third-place finishes in the Aramark South/Central Region Sprints.

This year, numerous veterans returned — such as Jennifer VanderMaarel, Felicia Izaguirre-Werner and Jelena Zunic — but also added freshman talent with the likes of Sydney Boyes, Devon Clark and Katie Morgan.

Saturday’s event, hosted by Oklahoma City University and the Oklahoma Regatta Festival, will feature collegiate, master and junior crews. The Longhorns are entering three varsity eights and four varsity fours into the regatta.

“We get a really good feel for the teams in a race like this, as far as depth goes. The field is stronger [at the Head of the Oklahoma] then it was last year. We can’t tell exactly what is going to happen — it’s still early yet — but you can get a good feel for the team dynamics towards racing, how they race and what the results are.”