The sport of rowing has been sponsored by the Big 12 on a limited basis for the past three years and the Conference recognizes the three titles won by Texas in those years.
The Longhorns will be looking to make it four straight crowns this year as the event returns to the Oklahoma River for a second time. In 2010, UT scored 108 points to best Oklahoma (97) in the first championship staged in Oklahoma City.
The six races scheduled to take place include the first varsity eight, the second varsity eight, the first varsity four, the second varsity four, the third varsity eight and the fourth varsity eight. In all previous championships only five races were contested. Each team will compete in every race except Kansas State, which will not field a fourth varsity eight boat.
Teams score points for their finish in each race with the first and second varsity eight and the first varsity four races carrying significantly more weight than the other three.
This week, coaches voted on the seeding for the top three races, which in turn determines the lane assignments for the event. The highest seeded team received lane two, the second seed lane three, the third seed lane four and the fourth seed lane one. The other three race lane assignments were determined by a random draw. Lane assignments can changed based on weather conditions on race day.
Kansas has participated in five regattas during the spring season. The Jayhawks kicked off the season in Oklahoma City at the Oklahoma Invite in which KU finished sixth and returned to Lawrence with 11 total wins for the weekend. KU then traveled to Oak Ridge, Tenn., for the Oak Ridge Invitational. The Novice Eight won two races over Buffalo, Tennessee and Notre Dame. The lone varsity win came in the Varsity Four as the Jayhawks beat Alabama and Louisville. After dropping duals to No. 15 Clemson and Kansas State, KU competed in the Knecht Cup in Cherry Hill, N.J., April 14-15. KU won the Grand Final in the Varsity Four and Second Varsity Four races, while the Novice Eight came in third and the Second Varsity Eight finished fourth in their respective Grand Finals.
The Wildcats are coming off two strong performances to take some momentum into the Big 12 Championship. K-State had one of its best performances ever at the Southern Intercollegiate Rowing Association Championships this past weekend with all four boats making the grand finals and three bringing home medals. Those strong showings in Oak Ridge, Tenn., came after dominating in-state rival Kansas. The Wildcats swept the Jayhawks to retain the Kansas Cup winning by a total of 20-0. K-State won all five races by an average of 20 seconds.
The University of Oklahoma Rowing team began the Spring 2012 Season by winning the OU Invitational in Oklahoma City, Okla. The Sooners swept SMU in the final and had 24 total wins against Kansas, Kansas State, Tulsa and SMU to win the regatta. From there Oklahoma headed to Austin, Texas for the Longhorn Invitational where the varsity eight boat toped No. 19 Texas to remain undefeated on the season. The varsity eight was awarded the first Big 12 honor for rowing as the Boat of the Month for March. The Sooners closed regular season action in Ann Arbor, Mich. against No. 3 Michigan and No. 6 Ohio State. The novice eight took one race against No. 3 Michigan and was just two seconds behind No. 6 Ohio State.
The Texas Rowing program enters the 2012 Big 12 Conference Championship looking for its fourth consecutive conference title, but the path to Oklahoma City has not been without its bumps. Despite a strong effort from the varsity four and novice boats, the varsity eight boats head into this weekend looking for a consistent effort.Texas does have momentum after competing two weeks ago in the Lake Natoma Invitational, posting its best overall finish in three years. Head coach Carie Graves has juggled lineups in recent weeks in order to find the winning combination. A possible preview of this weekend came in March during the Longhorn Invitational when the Longhorns competed against Oklahoma and Kansas State. UT won 27 of 32 races while the varsity crew garnered wins in 14 of 16 races. The Texas Longhorns are in a familiar spot after opening the year on the Oklahoma River in October after earning three top-five finishes at the Head of the Oklahoma.
2012 BIG 12 ROWING CHAMPIONSHIP LANE ASSIGNMENTS
|SEEDED RACES||RANDOM DRAW RACES
|First Varsity Eight||Third Varsity Eight|
|Lane 1 - Kansas||Lane 1 - Kansas State|
|Lane 2 - Oklahoma||Lane 2 - Oklahoma|
|Lane 3 - Texas||Lane 3 - Texas|
|Lane 4 - Kansas State||Lane 4 - Kansas|
|Second Varsity Eight||Fourth Varsity Eight|
|Lane 1 - Kansas||Lane 1 - N/A|
|Lane 2 - Texas||Lane 2 - Kansas|
|Lane 3 - Oklahoma||Lane 3 - Oklahoma|
|Lane 4 - Kansas State||Lane 4 - Texas|
|First Varsity Four||Second Varsity Four|
|Lane 1 - Kansas||Lane 1 - Texas|
|Lane 2 - Texas||Lane 2 - Kansas|
|Lane 3 - Oklahoma
||Lane 3 - Kansas State|
|Lane 4 - Kansas State
||Lane 4 - Oklahoma