Dow's Anna Jensen helps Longhorns win 2nd NCAA championship

'We most definitely had our best race of the season,' says sophomore standout

Photo of Fred Kelly

Dow High alum Anna Jensen and her University of Texas teammates have done it again.

A year after helping the Longhorns’ women’s rowing team claim its first-ever NCAA championship, Jensen and her 1V8 (first varsity boat, eight rowers) boat defended that national title in Sarasota, Fla., recently, completing the final race nearly five seconds ahead of second-place Stanford.

“Winning a second national championship at Texas is an incredible feeling. I am so proud and thankful to be a part of this team, surrounded by people who are continually pushing me to become not only a better athlete but a better person every day,” said Jensen, 19, who graduated from Dow in 2020 and is a sophomore at Texas.

“This season was super exciting for me personally, because I really grew a lot as a rower,” she added. “I saw a lot of improvement in my technique and strength but also in my ability to be a leader on the team.”

Last May, Jensen and the Longhorns made a dramatic surge in the final 750 meters to edge Stanford in the final. Along the way, Jensen was named Big 12 Newcomer of the Year, and she and her 1V8 teammates earned NCAA Boat of the Year honors.

Only two months later, Jensen earned a spot on the U.S. Rowing junior national team and went on to help the Americans win the World Rowing Under 23 Championship in the Czech Republic. She was the only college freshman invited to try out for the junior national team.

When this year’s NCAA Championship rolled around, Jensen and her Texas teammates were ready to defend their title. And this time, no come-from-behind sprint would be necessary.

“The final at the NCAA this year was very exciting for our boat, as we most definitely had our best race of the season. We knew the field was very competitive, but we were ready to fight hard to win,” she noted. “We ended up leading right off the start and extended our lead over the course of the race.

“I’m looking forward to the next two years and what is in store at Texas,” she added.