March 18, 2012
OAK RIDGE, Tenn. -
The Alabama rowing team finished off its first competition of the spring season with a strong showing on the final day of the Oak Ridge Invitational held on Melton Hill Lake in Oak Ridge, Tenn., including a win by the Crimson Tide novice 8+.
"With a young group, the kind of focus we need to be successful isn't there all the time," Davis said. "One of the things the crews did a better job of today - and some did a much better job of this - is tuning in and competing at the level that we're capable of."
Alabama's novice 8+ crossed the finish line at 7:03.00, holding off second place Kansas, which finished with a 7:05.83. After turning in times of 7:22.00 and 7:12.20 on the first day of the invitational before going nine seconds faster on Sunday.
The Tide's second varsity 8+, solid on day one of the meet, trimmed another four seconds off its previous best on the weekend, taking second place to Louisville with a time of 6:44.58, edging third place Kansas by 13-hundredths of a second.
"That was a real barn-burner of a race," Davis said. "All three crews rowed a great race and our ladies really put it together. That boat shows a lot of promise. That's as close to Louisville as our second varsity 8+ has been since we became an NCAA Division I program."
Alabama also bettered its previous best time on the weekend in the first varsity 4+, crossing the line with a 7:40.72, finishing second to Kansas and 13 seconds ahead of third-place Louisville.
In the first varsity 8+ race, Alabama rowed its best race of the weekend, turning in a time of 6:44.63 to finish second to Louisville, but holding off third place Kansas, which crossed the line at 6:45.65.
"While we still have a ways to go, and we're still looking to a get a few more folks back in the lineup, we made some real progress today, which bodes well for the season moving forward," Davis said.
Alabama returns to action on March 31 with a cross-country trip to the San Diego Crew Classic, where the Tide won the Cal Cup last season.