Alabama Rowing Has Good Showing
"We had a very good day with all our boats advancing to tomorrow's semi-final round," Alabama head coach Larry Davis said. "The good thing for us is that there was something in each race that we can work on tomorrow, something that will make us better and we'll need that as the level of competition jumps tomorrow. We'll need to put our ‘A' race on the water to fulfill our goal of advancing to finals."
The conditions on day one of the largest collegiate regatta in the world were brisk with the temperature dropping throughout the day, starting in the 60s and reaching the high 40s by the time the last race went off. There were also winds of 15 to 20 miles per hour, often gusting higher. Topping all this off was a steady rain the rarely abated throughout the day.
"Our ladies handled the elements well I thought," Davis said. "Everyone had to go through the same conditions and we have, away from Tuscaloosa, competed in some strange and challenging conditions this season so I think we were as prepared as you can be for today's elements."
Alabama won its heat in two races, finished second in two other races and third in another. The Crimson Tide's First Varsity 8+ posted a first-place time of 6:36.7, nosing ahead of UMass' 6:38.5. The Tide's Novice 8+ also won their heat, posting a 6:47.6, finishing well ahead of Ohio State's second-place, 6:54.1 effort.
Both of Alabama's 4+ boats took second in their heats with the Varsity crossing the line at 7:45.6 just behind Iona's 7:44.2. The Novice boat posted a 7:39.1, five seconds behind Pitt's winning effort. The Tide's Second Varsity 8+ was third in its heat with a 6:49.1, finishing behind St. Joseph's 6:39.9 and Fordham's 6:45.5.
"We're going to have row our best tomorrow," Davis said. "I think it will be very hard to have a mistake and make it to finals. That said, based on our speed today, I think we have the capabilities to move on and that's certainly what we're aiming for."
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