Alabama Women Not Intimidated

CLEMSON, S.C. – The Alabama Rowing team opened its 2009 spring season with a pair of wins in cold and rainy conditions at the Clemson Regatta and a strong showing across the board against some of the nation's top teams.

"Against some very tough competition I think our ladies stepped it up today," Alabama Coach Larry Davis said. "Our times were an improvement over where we were at this time a year ago and we faced teams today that have been to the NCAA Championships and are contenders to get there, and we were not intimidated."

Alabama took five boats to the regatta to face No. 13 Clemson, Penn, which received votes in the latest poll and Marist. Each of the Tide's crews raced three times over the 1,500-meter course on Lake Hartwell.

The Crimson Tide's First Novice 8+ won two of its three races over Clemson and Penn. Alabama posted a 5:30.17 to win the first novice race of the day by two seconds, and a 5:35.26, taking top honors in the second novice race. The homestanding Tigers won the third race in the novice series, with Alabama taking second with a time of 5:36.34.

"The novices won two of three, beating Penn each time and Clemson twice," Davis said. "I think we showed that our goal of being in the top-third nationally is well within reach."

Alabama's First Varsity 8+ took third behind Clemson and Penn in its three-race series, with its top time coming in the final race, 5:28.67. The Tide got faster with each race, dropping just over a second between races one and three. The Tide's Second Varsity 8+ posted a top time of 5:41.50 on the day, finishing third twice and fourth once.

"One of the things I was very pleased with, especially with our First Varsity 8+ boat, was the consistency of our performance," Davis said. "Our times were within 1.2 seconds of each other over all three races. That points to a strong effort from start to finish and will hold us in good stead down the road."

Alabama's First Varsity 4+ boat was third in its trio of races, posting a top time of 6:22.30 in its first race and was less than three seconds off that mark in its final race of the day. Alabama's Second Varsity 4+ was third in its races with a top time of 6:30.66.

Just a few days after opening the spring season, Alabama returns to Tuscaloosa for its home opener, taking on Kansas State Tuesday (March 17). The races are slated to get underway at 11:30 a.m. on the Black Warrior River.

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