SARASOTA, Fla. – No. 4 Texas placed all three of its boats among the top-five overall finishers and placed third in the final team standings Saturday at the 2018 NCAA Division I Rowing Championships.
The Longhorns eclipsed their then program-best fourth-place team showing from a year ago and raised the bar even higher, as Texas secured another team trophy and placed third in the final team standings with 115 points. California claimed the team title with 130 points while Washington placed second with 128 points. Stanford placed fourth and Virginia rounded out the final top five.
With the threat of inclement weather all weekend in the Sarasota area, regatta officials altered the race schedule Friday evening and moved Sunday's finals to Saturday afternoon. The 22-team field raced the usual Saturday morning semifinal session to fill out the grand and petite finalists and then returned Saturday afternoon – instead of the usual Sunday morning – to race for national championships in the varsity eight (I Eight), second varsity eight (II Eight) and the four.
Texas was up to the challenge ahead in the morning semifinals, and for the first time ever at an NCAA Championship, the Longhorns sent all three boats to the grand finals (championships finals). UT's chances at securing one of the four team trophies depended substantially upon the result of the I Eight grand final, where the most points are awarded.
Texas' I Eight went on to place third in the six-boat grand final, good for the top finish ever by a Longhorns boat at an NCAA Championship. The Longhorns placed third in 6 minutes, 17.800 seconds. California was victorious in 6:14.857 while Washington took second in 6:16.535. Regatta officials declared the grand final unofficial after the race and randomly selected the Longhorns' boat to be weighed afterward. Two hours later, the race was declared official and the results stood.
UT's II Eight reached the grand final for the second time in the last three seasons. The Longhorns placed fifth overall in 6:30.519. Washington took the win in 6:21.081, and California settled for second at 6:27.201. Virginia rounded out the top-three in 6:28.264.
The Horns' Four boat matched its program-best finish from a year ago and placed fourth overall in 7:14.023. California clinched the NCAA team title with the win in 7:00.798 and Washington settled for second in 7:01.626. Ohio State rounded out the top-three in 7:09.748.