Former Longhorn rower Gia Doonan became a World Rowing Champion when the United States' women's eight claimed the championship title at the 2018 World Rowing Championships with a time of 6:00.97, over two seconds ahead of second-place finisher Canada who clocked in at 6:03.05.
Doonan, who raced at four seat, and Team USA had a firm hold on first place for the majority of the 2,000-meter race, checking in to the 1,500-meter checkpoint 1.21 seconds ahead of Australia, who ended third overall (6:03.86).
With the win, Doonan becomes the first Texas rower to win gold at the Senior World Championships.
Doonan also stroked the United States women's pair at the 2018 World Championships, where she and partner Victoria Opitz finished third in the B final at 7:19.70.
In 2016, Doonan medaled twice at the World Rowing Under-23 Championships in Rotterdam, Netherlands, earning gold in the 4+ and gold in the 8+. She advanced to the senior national team in 2017, where she served as an alternate at the 2017 World Rowing Championships in Sarasota, Fla.
Gia credits her time as a Texas student-athlete in helping her reach elite-level achievements with U.S. Rowing.
In her time at Texas, Doonan helped the Texas varsity eight to a fourth-place finish in the grand final at the 2017 and 2015 NCAA Championships. The Marion, Massachusetts native helped the V8+ to a seventh-place national showing in 2016, as well.
Doonan was a three-time first team All-American and a two-time Big-12 Rower of the Year. She was also a two-time Academic All-Big 12 selection and a member of the Big 12 Commissioner's Honor Roll. She earned All-Big 12 honors in each of her four seasons with the Longhorns.
Doonan helped the Horns to Big 12 team titles in 2015, 2016 and 2017 behind league titles all three of those years in the V8+ boat. Additionally, Doonan was nominated for the 2017 NCAA Woman of the Year award.