Tulsa rowing finishes the fall season strong

Sports writer Katherine Stenning provides an overview of the rowing season

The Tulsa women’s rowing fall season has come to a golden end, with the team competing and winning races in both the 4+ and 8+ in the Tulsa Fall Invitational. This is Tulsa’s first season with its new head coach and coaching staff, and it’s evident that there has been a culture shift at the J. Bird Senior Shell Nest.

The 2021-2022 season was up and down, with lots of success in the first varsity eight, but less so in the 2V8 and 1V4. Not only did the 1V8 advance to the grand final of the Doc Hosea Invitational, but they also earned a bronze medal finish in the grand final of the Sunshine State Invitational in Florida. This success compares to the second-place finish by the 2V8 and the fourth-place finish by the 1V4 in their respective petite finals at the Sunshine State, which were both solid results but just lacking slightly compared to the 1V8. However, although there was an initial struggle to find the pace in the 2V8 and 1V4, the Golden Hurricane was able to overcome this and finished third overall in the American Athletic Conference at the end of their season, behind second-place UCF and the dominant AAC Champions SMU.

Although Tulsa has only competed in two races this Fall 2022 season, it was evident that new head coach Brandon Campbell has brought some speed with him from Washington State. At the head of Oklahoma on Saturday, Oct. 1, Tulsa’s Collegiate 4+ claimed a gold medal over the 4km course on the Oklahoma River, with a time of 15:35.1, and its Collegiate 8+ ‘A’ boat finished sixth, with a time of 15:15.7, and its ‘B’ boat finished seventh, around 18 seconds behind with a time of 15:33.1. The next and final race of the Fall 2022 season that Tulsa competed in was the Tulsa Fall Invitational against UCO. This race was held over 4km on the Golden Hurricane’s home stretch of water in Catoosa, and the rowers really used this to their advantage, winning both the Varsity 8+ and Varsity 4+ races. Not only did Tulsa win the Varsity 8+ with its ‘A’ boat, but it also took a second-place finish with its ‘B’ boat, fourth place with its ‘C’ boat, and fifth place with its ‘D’ boat, a very impressive set of results. This success carried over into the Varsity 4+ race, with Tulsa having boats in second, fourth and fifth behind their winners, as well as a sixth and a ninth place finish as well. These results are exciting, as UCO were back-to-back NCAA Division II Champions in 2019, and have been performing to a high standard ever since, so it is very promising that our Golden Hurricane is beating them by such margins.

Looking forward to the Spring 2023 season, the Tulsa team is scheduled to be racing six times before their final AAC race in mid-May in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. The Golden Hurricane is looking to improve upon their third-place finish in the Spring 2022 season, and looking at their recent progress, there is every hope that they will be able to achieve this goal.

Post Author: Katherine Stenning