Oct. 23, 2011
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - The Alabama rowing team completed its run at the legendary Head of the Charles regatta Sunday with a 27th place showing in the Championship 8+ race after finishing fifth in the Club 8+ race earlier in the weekend.
"I think overall we rowed well," UA head coach Larry Davissaid. "We've had to overcome some sickness and injuries over the last little while that kept us from making quite as much progress as we'd like since our opening weekend, and I think that affected our cadence and overall boat speed."
In the Club 8+ race, Alabama's Second V8+, which consisted of coxswain Emily LeBeau, and rowers Leigh Ann Terch, Canella Tinker, Brittney Bebek, Stephanie Varner, Kristen Hickman, Alyssa Drevenak, Brianne Hadar and Erika Baranek, finished fifth with a time of 18:31.66. Tennessee took first place with a time of 17:41.48 while Yale was second at 17:56.57. Connecticut was third and George Mason took fourth to round out the top five.
"We did achieve one of our goals on the weekend, and that was finishing in the top five of the Club 8+ race which means we medaled," Davis said. "This was the first time we've rowed two 8s at the Head of the Charles and been able to come away with a medal. That's another big step forward for us."
The Tide's First Varsity 8+ turned in a time of 17:25.62, just behind Louisville, in the Championship 8+ race, with a crew made up of coxswain Kiffy Balchon and rowers Jessica Parker, Hannah Merrill, Audrey White, Lynsey Marshall, Kristen Iverson, Bianca Arrington, Kendall Williamsonand Maria Styer.
"In the Champ 8, I think we rowed a good race, beating some teams that we hadn't beaten before," Davis said. "But there are still some things that we need to accomplish, things we'll be able to work on more once we get everyone back in the lineup, which will help our boat speed."
Alabama closes out its fall season in two weeks at the Head of the Hooch regatta in Chattanooga, Tenn.
"Going into the Head of the Hooch, I want to make sure we have the right people in the right place, but there again that's going to depend somewhat on getting everyone healthy again so we can spend time looking at those things and working on some cadence work that we need," Davis said.