By Lisa Miller
Dallas United Crew (DUC) rowing team competed in its first fall regatta of the 2018-2019 season at the Head of the Oklahoma regatta in Oklahoma City, Okla. on Sept. 29-30, at the Boathouse District on the Oklahoma River. Great fall weather greeted the team as they navigated the twists, turns, bridges and competition of the 4,000-meter course. DUC fielded 29 boats with more than 80 athletes.
Dallas United won gold in an impressive seven events — three in youth rowing, two in masters adult rowing and two in adaptive Veterans — bringing home 47 gold medals. DUC youth Varsity rowers earned a total of 55 medals overall, the most of any varsity club.
For the youth, summer training, with seven athletes rowing more than one million meters on the ergometer and garnering boat naming rights, contributed to the wins. DUC’s Women’s Youth 8+ bested their closest competition, Southeast Regional Champions, Sarasota Crew, by a whopping 10 seconds in the 4K head race. The Men’s Youth 8+, challenged US Rowing’s 2018 Youth Nationals Champions, Sarasota Crew, for dominance in the 4K head race, and were edged out of first place by a mere one second.
For the first time in program history, DUC fielded a mixed master’s adult boat with four male and four female rowers, which raced to a convincing win over rival competitors from Oklahoma.
The sun went down; the lights went up, and the DUC Men’s Youth 8+ churned a jaw-dropping photo finish to earn gold in the 500-meter Night Sprints. Returning regional champions, DUC’s Women’s Youth 8+, finished .82 seconds behind a determined Sarasota Crew, earning silver. DUC Adaptive Veterans earned two gold medals.