OKLAHOMA CITY — The University of Central Oklahoma rowing team acquired a quartet of top-five finishes at the season-opening Head of the Oklahoma Saturday on the Oklahoma River, including a first-place finish in the Collegiate 4+ Night Sprints Grand Final.
Central Oklahoma, winners of the 2018 and 2019 NCAA national championships, proved once again it has strength in multiple boats as the Bronchos opened a new season. Under the new direction of first-year head coach Brian Ebke, Central Oklahoma had strong showings in both its fours and eights throughout the day of racing.
"We performed well," Ebke said. "We faced a lot of really good competition and I thought that we did really well for it being our first time on the water this season. And now we have a good measurement of what we need to do and work on moving forward."
In 4,000-meter Varsity 8+ head racing, Central Oklahoma's top boat finished in eighth place with a time of 14:32. The Bronchos later got a second-place finish from its Varsity 4+ boat with a time of 15:24.
UCO's Novice 8+ earned a fourth-place finish in its group with a time of 18:01 and its Novice 4+ took ninth with a time of 19:34.
As racing entered the evening hours, the Bronchos put three boats in the Night Sprints 500-meter finals. Central's V4+ boat took first place in the Grand Final ahead of TCU, Oklahoma, and Texas A&M, while its N8+ took second in the Petite Final behind Kansas, and its V8+ took fifth in the Grand Final behind Texas, Oklahoma, Alabama, and Kansas.
Central Oklahoma will race just once more in the fall season. The Bronchos will head to Tulsa the first weekend of November for the TU Fall Invite.
Head of the Oklahoma
Varsity 8+: 8. UCO A, 14:32; 17. UCO B, 15:58
Novice 8+: 4. UCO A, 18:01
Novice 4+: 9. UCO A, 19:34; 10. UCO B, 20:19
Varsity 4+: 2. UCO A, 15:24; 13. UCO B, 16:05; 24. UCO C, 17:05; 27. UCO D, 18:38
Night Sprints (500m)
V4 Grand Final: 1. UCO, 1:54
V8 Petite Final: 2. UCO B, 1:49
V8 Grand Final: 5. UCO, 1:30
V8A: Madisyn Kitchell (coxswain), Kiele Erickson, Kateryna Klymenko, Megan Dwarshuis, Eileen Anderson, Shelby Wackerly, Siobhan Quirke, Allison Staley, Bailee Thomas.
V8B: Josephine Boschert (coxswain), Elina Varmia, Indira Diaz, Mikala Brown, Madison Hartenstein, Lea Malezieux, Tristen Ramirez, Keondra Whisenhunt, Carly Koons.
N8: Lexi Mathena (coxswain), Aleah Dutton, Sage Kroeken, Kelsi Smith, Sarah Jackson, Greta Asmenaite, Kelsey Woellmer, Bre Brown.
N4A: Evelyn Withington (coxswain), Smith, Kroeker, Asmenaite, Woellmer.
N4B: Ashlee Norton (coxswain), Molly Koons, Jackson, Courtney Hopkins, Dutton.
V4A: Kitchell (coxswain), Erickson, Klymenko, Dwarshius, Thomas.
V4B: Boschert (coxswain), Wackerly, Anderson, Staley, Quirke.
V4C: Yesenia Gil Salazar (coxswain), Diaz, Varmia, Hartenstein, Brown.