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Oklahoma rowing team ready for first NCAA Championships

A team that five years ago didn't have an oar or a river to race on will compete with the top teams in the country this weekend.
By Stephanie Kuzydym Published: May 30, 2013

Furmanek, one of the building blocks of the program, acquired nearly every academic and athletic rowing award in her four years. Her leadership and her faith in Crain's vision helped bring in more recruits to grow the program. Crain said her recruits for next year would rank among the top 10 of the current Sooners.

This year, Oklahoma announced plans for a multimillion dollar rowing facility on campus that will rival the likes of Harvard, Yale and other traditional rowing powers. Then the Sooners won the Big 12 Championships, and followed that with a Conference USA championship.

“She is just a really great coach,” Furmanek said of Crain. “She sees the dream before you do and she believes in you when you doubt yourself.”

From Day 1, Crain pushed her team in order to produce those results. She said she didn't want to sell her team and their goal short, but five years ago, the five-year plan was to make the NCAA Championships.

“I don't think anybody's expecting us to win the Championships,” Crain said. “We haven't raced a lot of teams that will be there. We'll see what we can do.”

That didn't stop her from dreaming up her next five-year plan a minute later. It's to be in the top 10 at the Championships and to be a crew that the rest of the field sees as a national title contender.

NCAA Rowing Championships

When: Friday-Sunday

Where: Eagle Creek Park, Indianapolis

OU crews competing: Varsity eight, second varsity eight, varsity four

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