Dallas United Crew, which features several athletes from the Park Cities, won three gold medals at the prestigious season-opening Head of the Oklahoma regatta on Oct. 1-2 in Oklahoma City.
Unique to this venue, the top six crews in marquee events qualify to race at OG&E’s Night Sprints, an electrified, high-velocity, 500-meter dash.
The daytime, 4,000-meter course winds through 11 bridges. Coxswains must navigate the shortest possible course, passing slower boats without yielding time.
In the Varsity Boys races, the Fours race foreshadowed the marquee event, the Eights. DUC’s Fours took silver and bronze behind rival Jesuit Dallas. The first of three DUC Eights, they beat Jesuit by five seconds to qualify for Night Sprints.
In the Varsity Girls head races, DUC took bronze in the Fours and the Eights, yielding gold in both events to an emerging powerhouse, Austin Rowing Club.
In the Night Sprints, DUC’s Varsity Girls delivered the upset of the night, overtaking ARC’s top Eight in the last 100 meters to win by 0.4 seconds. In the Boys Eight, DUC fended off two determined Jesuit crews to take gold by a full deck.
Jesuit, under new head coach Ryan Hemelt, earned five medals overall at the regatta — gold in Fours, silver and bronze in the Night Sprint, silver in Eights, and silver in U-17 Eights.
Next up will be the Head of the Charles, a regatta attracting elite crews from around the world on Oct. 20-23 in Cambridge, Massachusetts.