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

Teamwork continues to lead rowing to success

Jacob Arthur

In less-than ideal weather in Kansas City, Kansas last weekend, the Alabama rowing team posted a strong performance, winning 9 of its 10 races.

One boat in particular, the Second Varsity 4+ boat, posted the fastest overall time in each of its two Double Dual.

In the first race, the crew made up of freshman coxswain Izzie Gonzales, sophomore Kylie Diffley, junior Cheyenne Adams, sophomore Keilani Hamann and junior Lauren Fehr posted a 7:42.319, besting Kansas by seven seconds. In the second race, it posted a 7:32.696 time, beating Kansas State by over 15 seconds.

“This is a chance for us to see where we are,” Adams said. “As a team, how much we have progressed. Going up against these teams definitely had a challenge for us. Us going out there and showing what we got, it shows how much we are proving as a team each time we go out there.”

In Adams’ freshman season, Alabama finished sixth in the Big 12 conference tournament. Last year, Alabama finished fourth. If the team continues to improve this year and finishes in the top-3, it would have a chance to qualify for it’s first ever NCAA Championship.

Teamwork is essential in rowing. Coach Larry Davis stresses “working as one” to his team in practices.

“If we don’t do things together, the boat isn’t going to move,” Hamann said. “It’s got to be moving as one.”

The four rowers depend on the coxswain to help them move and make sure they stay focused. That is the responsibility of Gonzales on this boat.

As a freshman, she needs to get her elder teammates on the same page. Her job is to act as an extension of her coaches. 

“It’s like a really small, really annoying, always going to be there, always yelling at you coach,” Gonzales said. “They always call me that, ‘annoying.’”

They may call her annoying, but the importance of the coxswain isn’t lost on any members of the boat.

“It’s good when you’re down in the boat and you want to know where you are,” Fehr said. “You know that your coxswain is going to be there. It’s good to have Izzie there and just tell us to keep going, kick our butt some times, but just get us to that finish line.”

This weekend Alabama will head to Sacramento, California, for the Lake Natoma Invitational. The invitational will provide the Crimson Tide with another opportunity to see how much progress it’s made this season.

California, Brown, Stanford, Notre Dame, Washington State, and Sacramento State will be among the teams Alabama faces this weekend. 

“It’s going to be good to see other boats that are not in our conference,” Adams said. “To see how close we are as a team (to the NCAA tournament) and to see how much progress we’ve made. We’ve strived all year to get to where we are and it’s awesome to see how much we’ve changed.”

The weather in California is going to be a lot warmer and a lot less windy, but the experience of winning last week in less than ideal circumstances should help Alabama. 

“I think we even surprised ourselves this (past) weekend,” Diffley said. “We went out there and really went after it. I think we are ready for this weekend.”

And of course, the race will help Alabama prepare for its biggest challenge, the Big 12 Championships May 12-13.

“It’s going to be tough, but I think this race will prepare us for what the Big 12 Championships is going to look like,” Adams said. “I think we are ready and are excited.”

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