TU wins bronze at Sunshine State

Managing Editor Isabella Musollino says rowing was hard at work.

The Tulsa women’s rowing team had an eventful weekend at the Sunshine State Invitational. The invite, which spanned March 29 and March 30, brought the team action against 15 other Division I rowing teams. Rowing is heading into its second year with a new coaching staff headed by Brandon Campbell. In 2023, Tulsa’s 1V8 placed first in the grand finals, earning themselves a spot as the second seed this year, just behind number 22-ranked Iowa.

The Golden Hurricane faced tough competition in the heats on Friday. The 1V4 fell short of the grand finals by less than half a second, and the 2V8 missed the grand finals by just under two seconds. Both boats earned themselves the first seed in the petite finals. The 1V8 placed second in their heat, earning an automatic qualifying spot in the grand finals, and were seeded fourth behind Iowa, Miami and UCF. All three boats faced a vicious cross-headwind that blew them aggressively to the starboard side.

On Saturday morning, the 1V8 kicked off an exciting day of racing, battling to try and get their bow ball ahead. Working through UCF, Boston College, Michigan State, UNC, and Drexel, Tulsa threw everything they had at Miami and Iowa. Battling seat for seat, the Golden Hurricane maintained contact with both crews through the finish line, but fell short of first place. Miami took first with a time of 6:33.69, Iowa followed closely behind at 6:34.95, and Tulsa laid down a time of 6:36.49. Leaving the course with a bronze medal, the 1V8 is excited to make up those seconds.

“I thought the Varsity 8+ did everything they could out on the race course today. They made multiple surges throughout the race and started their sprint earlier than usual,” said Tulsa Head Coach Brandon Campbell. “We have a lot of respect for our competitors this weekend but we are leaving Sarasota proud of our efforts.”

Tulsa’s 2V8 followed shortly after, with the whole lineup committing to an aggressive race. Leading the pack, Tulsa threw down a first-place finish in the petite finals with a time of 6:51.06. With open water, they dominated the field, which consisted of Jacksonville, UMASS, West Virginia, Kansas State, Stetson, Old Dominion and Drexel. Tulsa will face Old Dominion at the AAC championship in May, offering the team a promising race. Both the 1V8 and the 2V8 faced a crosswind that blew them to the port side.

The 1V4 ended the regatta by placing fourth in the petite finals. With a time of 7:35.66, they fell short of the University of Kansas (7:30.04), Drexel (7:31.40), and Boston College (7:34.67). The crew took down West Virginia, Old Dominion, Louisville and Stetson. The 1V4 faced a cross-tailwind, giving them an extra push down the course.

“Both the 2nd Varsity 8+ and Varsity 4+ talked about making the most out of their final race on Saturday morning and I think they did just that,” added Campbell.

The Golden Hurricane will face Miami again on April 6 at the Lake Natoma Invite in California. They will also face off against Gonzaga, Loyola Marymount, number-19 ranked UCLA and AAC conference competitor Sacramento State.

They will get another chance against Iowa on April 26 and 27 at the Lake Wheeler Invite in North Carolina. Tulsa will see 16 competitors at Lake Wheeler, including several ranked teams: Syracuse (8), Penn (10), Duke (15) and Alabama (25). Tennessee has yet to accept their invite but will provide the Golden Hurricane with tough competition, currently ranked at 16.

Post Author: Isabella Musollino