Oct. 13, 2012
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. - Alabama rowing took a large step forward as a program in its 2012-13 season opener Saturday, not only winning the Championship 8+ at the Chattanooga Head Race for the first time with its best-ever time at the event, but it did so by beating Southeastern Conference rival Tennessee.
"This is the first time that we've gotten by Tennessee's first boat and we're pretty excited about that," UA head coach Larry Davissaid. "It was also the first time that we've won the Championship 8+ race here at this regatta and the first time that we've medaled in all our races. Overall it was just an amazing start and certainly a milestone day, especially for such a young team."
Alabama raced three 8+ boats in the Championship race, with its "A" boat grabbing the gold medal with a time of 16:29.38 while the Lady Vols where second in a time of 16:32.15. The Tide's other two boats in the Championship 8+ race finished sixth and seventh.
"Our winning time was 30 seconds faster than we've ever been at this regatta, and the conditions weren't as fast today as they have been in the past," Davis said. "We've been working quite some time to catch up to Tennessee and to have done that is very gratifying."
Overall, the Tide earned six medals, including three gold, a silver and a bronze. Alabama won the Novice 8+ race, posting a time of 19:54.27, more than two minutes ahead of second place Georgia Tech (22.23.90) and the rest of the field. The Tide also took first and third in the women's pairs race with times of 23:11.22 and 23:47.45 and was second in the doubles race with a time of 20:56.26.
The Tide finished third in the Championship 4+ race with a time of 19:35.52, just over a second off the silver medal time of 19:34.46 produced by Tennessee's "B" boat. The Lady Vols "A" crew won the Championship 4+ with a time of 18:46.45.
Alabama returns to action at the venerable Head of the Charles in Cambridge, Mass. Oct. 20-12.