Tide Rowing Has First Senior Day

The Alabama Rowing team won three out of five races against Oklahoma and Old Dominion in its home finale on the Black Warrior River Saturday in front of more than 700 fans who braved the rain that came early in the morning but had largely dissipated by the time the races got underway.

"In rowing, outside of the big regattas and championship events, you don't usually have a chance to row in front of a big crowd," Alabama Coach Larry Davis said. "This was by far the best crowd I've seen anywhere for a two or three team, regular season race. I think it just goes to show how Alabama fans support their student-athletes. The weather looked like it might put a damper on the things but I was really excited to see the turnout and how they supported us today."

Alabama won the First Novice 8+ and Second Novice 8+ races as well as the Varsity 4+ race and was second to Oklahoma in the First Varsity 8+ and Second Varsity 8+ races.

"For the third week in a row we went against teams like Oklahoma, Old Dominion, Indiana, Louisville and Tennessee, that are pushing toward the front of the pack," Davis said. "For young programs, and Alabama, Oklahoma and some of the others have only been around for a short amount of time, to be pushing some of the established programs like we are, it's really exciting to see."

In the First Novice 8+, Alabama edged Oklahoma 7:01..0 to 7:02.1. In the second Novice 8+ race, the Tide crossed the line six seconds ahead of the Sooners with a time of 7:34.4.

In the Varsity 4+ race, Alabama went one-two, turning in times of 7:58.5 and 8:03.2 respectively while Oklahoma took third and Old Dominion was fourth.

Oklahoma won the First Varsity 8+ with a time 6:37.5 followed by Alabama at 6:41.6 and Old Dominion at 6:57.7. In the Second Varsity 8+, OU crossed the line at 7:05.0 with the Tide just three seconds back at 7:08.4 and Old Dominion taking third with a time of 7:12.3.

"We have a week off from competition coming up, so what I'd like to see us do, and hopefully the weather will hold and we'll have the time on the water to do this, is work on our transitions from the different parts of the race," Davis said. "That's one of things that will help us get to the point where when we see Oklahoma down the road, we'll have a chance to get through them all the way."

It was also senior day on the Black Warrior and the Tide honored its first class of four-year seniors, Jessica Autrey, Sara Leibold, Nikki Lopez, Tacoma Morrisey, Stacey Ogle, Bailey Sanders, Jessica Scivley, Katherine Spohr, Cathryn Whitlock and Sarah Witt after the final race of the day.

"I'm so proud of this class that has done so much to take us from being a first-year program to where we are now, pushing the top-tier teams," Davis said. "This group, our first class of seniors who have been with us for four years, has really been instrumental in our growth and I can't thank them enough for all they've done."

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