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 looks to qualify for championship

The University of Alabama Crimson Tide swim team looks to the Bulldog Invitational in hopes of qualifying for the national championship meet after competing in the Southeastern Conference Championship last weekend.

Both the men and women had strong performances in the SEC meet in College Station, Texas. Both teams finished in tenth place in the meet with junior BJ Hornikel finishing fourth in the 100 meter freestyle and senior Jenna Gallo breaking the school record in the mile. The Tide swimmers are hoping to better these performances before the NCAA championship meet on March 11 in Knoxville, Tenn.

Head coach Dennis Pursley said the team is using this week to recover from the SEC championship meet before the Bulldog Invitational this weekend.

“[The team] is pretty physically and emotionally drained from last week’s competition,” Pursley said. “So this week is just a slow gradual build up back into the training regimen they were used to before we tapered down for the championships.”

One group of swimmers is hoping to shave a few tenths of a second off of their best times to put them in contention for the national championship meet. The head coach said this is one reason the team has slowed its practice.

“We hope that an additional week of rest – again, this is a light week of training – will help recharge those batteries and hopefully give them a little bit more to perform off of,” Pursley said.

Another group of swimmers did not compete in the conference championship and Pursley said they were using the invitational as an opportunity to show that the hard work they have put into practice this season has paid off.

The head coach said this meet has a different setting than the championship meet the team experienced last weekend. He said this change will challenge the team’s focus. It is a “low-key” meet, which will force the team to adjust to a less energetic atmosphere than they have seen in previous weeks, Pursely said.

“It’s a very different situation from the conference championships, where it’s very intense and a high level of energy in the environment,” Pursley said.

The teams will travel to Athens, Ga., for the Bulldog Invitational. Competition will commence Friday and continue through Saturday.

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