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

Rowing team readies for Knecht Cup

Coming off three wins against SMU and Eastern Michigan, the University of Alabama rowing team will compete this weekend in the Knecht Cup Regatta in New Jersey.

Alabama coach Larry Davis said the regatta will give the team a chance to assess its position going into next month’s championship.

“One of the reasons we have it on our schedule is that it gives us an opportunity to get our mindset ready for when we have championships in about a month,” Davis said. “There will be teams throughout the Northeast as well as the South. It’s a nice mix of high-level Division I teams, so we’re excited to go up there because it gives us an opportunity to judge our speed against other teams.”

After last week’s regatta, Davis said the team is motivated going into the Knecht Cup this weekend.

“For the first time, we swept all the varsity events,” Davis said. “We had a very good race. Overall, as a team performance, it was probably the strongest team performance we’ve had so far this spring. It was a big confidence builder. We want that kind of mojo going into this weekend’s racing. That was definitely a plus.”

(See also “Rowing team returns home“)

Despite the motivation, Davis said the team has faced several challenges going into this weekend. The team has never raced on the course in New Jersey and will have to adapt quickly, Davis said. Also, the river on which the team practices was flooded this week, preventing the team from rowing.

“This group of athletes has never raced on this course, so there will be a little bit of a learning curve in getting familiar with what’s going on and getting comfortable with how things are set up there,” Davis said. “Unfortunately we’re not doing some of the preparation work that we would like to do. We haven’t really been on the water since we raced on Saturday. It’s not the best way to prepare for the race that’s coming up.”

To counteract this challenge, Davis said the team has been practicing indoors to stay in shape, and it will be using Friday to prepare for the race.

“The first time we’ll be on the water since Saturday will be Friday when we go up to row on the course and get familiar with it,” Davis said. “The prep work has been fitness exercises we can do indoors, and once we get out there, we’re going to spend a lot more time than we normally do going over the course and doing preparation that will be important for us on the race day.”

(See also “UA rowing team awaits new boathouse“)

Davis said the team will work on racing tactics Friday to improve its performance in the race.

“We’re going to work on a couple things and try to get some of those strokes in that will help us do what we need to do for the race,” he said.

As for the team’s position in the season, Davis said this weekend’s regatta will tell it where it needs to be.

“We’re pretty much on track,” Davis said. “We had a slow start, but we picked up some of the things we needed to over the season. This weekend will give us some idea about where we are in regards to the championship part of our season.”

(See also “Rowing team to face Michigan State“)

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