Alabama Swimming Has Big Weekend
"It's hard to believe it's been four years with that group," Alabama Coach Eric McIlquham said. "There are 16 of them between the men and the women, and they've meant a lot to this program. We're going to honor them prior to the meet and then have a great competition with a tough Florida State squad."
From the men's team, the Tide will honor Daniel Armstrong, Alan Axford, Adam Booher, Catalin Cosma, Will Drumright, Daniel Rozick and Denes Zubcsek. From the women's team, Britney Busch, Olivia Covey, Cassie Craddock, Katrice Ewanich, Kate Shannon Gray, Kelsie Ludolph, Samantha Lugar, Jenna Montgomery and Paige Troyan will be honored.
There will be another group on hand in addition to see this year's senior class off. More than 70 swimming and diving alumni will also be in attendance in an impromptu reunion. The gathered alumni will also be honoring former Crimson Tide mentor Don Gambril, who is in his last year as an instructor at the University.
"Coach Gambril has meant so much to this program, obviously the pool is named after him, and the University and really United States Swimming as a whole," McIlquham said. "There's going to be a large alumni contingent that's made the trip, some from overseas, to be here Saturday and honor him."
Gambril served as the Tide's head coach from 1974-90 and was a part of several U.S. Olympic coaching staffs including being the head coach of the highly successful 1984 U.S. squad.
Saturday's meet is the second of three meets in a row for Alabama before it heads into the championship season. The Tide started the New Year with a trip to Kentucky, where the men remained undefeated, and the women fell just short in their comeback bid against the Wildcats.
"Anytime you go on the road in the Southeastern Conference it's going to be a tough meet," McIlquham said. "But we got after it up in Lexington and our men continued their unbeaten ways. On the women's side, we took our first lead with one event to go and came up just a little short in the last relay, but it was a good performance and we'll continue to build on it."
FSU is coming off its own senior day, where the Seminoles swept ACC rival Clemson thanks in large part to a dominant performance by its diving corps.
The Crimson Tide Rewards Program presented by Tuscaloosa Toyota will also be in full swing Saturday. Fans who haven't already received their membership can sign-up at the meet. Crimson Tide Rewards members will receive points for designated athletic events throughout the rest of the academic year and will be eligible for prizes after just 10 events. Fans who attend 50+ events will be entered into a drawing to win a 2011 Toyota Camry.
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