Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Tide heads to rowing regional championship

The women’s rowing team, led by head coach Larry Davis, will head to Oak Ridge, Tenn., this weekend to compete in the Southern Intercollegiate Rowing Association Championships after a week off from competition.

In its last meet, the Crimson Tide hosted Old Dominion and Oklahoma in its home finale. The team won three out of the five races, which included the First Novice 8+, the Second Novice 8+ and the Varsity 4+. Building off of that momentum, the team is looking for another great weekend of racing.

“I think we’ll do extremely well,” said senior and team captain Jess Autrey. “We want all the boats to make it to the finals, and we’re going to come home with some medals.”

Davis said after a slow start, the team was really starting to get things together.

“As the season started we had some bad weather and some people sick on the team, and we did not have as much time to gel,” Davis said.

But since their spring training, he said everything is really coming together.

“In the last two weeks, all of our crews have decreased their times,”

he said. “We’re getting geared towards SIRAC. The attitudes are good, and we’ve had good weather, and we’re making progress.”

After SIRAC, the Tide has two more meets before its season ends. The University of Central Florida Regatta includes Alabama, Central Florida and Miami.

Davis said he is very exited about getting to race against the NCAA-caliber teams and teams that Alabama has never beaten before.

“We’re hoping to build some long-term relationships with these teams and be able to perform against good teams,” he said.

The last meet of the year for the Tide is the South/Central Regional. The field contains a lot of schools that have been to the NCAAs before and provides the team with good experience.

“The South/Central Regionals contain some of the best teams in the nation,” Autrey said. “It gives us an opportunity to measure up against some of those other really good teams.”

An eventual team goal is to make it to the NCAA Championships. The women’s rowing team is in only its fourth year as a Division I sport at Alabama.

Another step along the way of getting to the NCAA Championships is by joining a conference. Along with teams from Big 12, Conference-USA and the SEC schools, Alabama is part of a new nine-team conference.

Under the Conference-USA name, this conference will begin holding a conference championship next year to give teams an opportunity to earn an automatic NCAA bid.

This year, the team’s times from the South/Central Regional will be used in determining the final conference rankings, and Alabama is hoping to finish in the top three.

“Rowing is a team sport,” Davis said. “The biggest thing we’ve been working on is mental toughness and focus. We’re starting to see it, and we’re capable of beating those teams.”

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