March 14, 2013
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – The Alabama rowing team will open its spring season at the Oak Ridge Cardinal Invitational this weekend. The two-day event is scheduled to start on Saturday, March 16, at Melton Hill Lake.
The Crimson Tide is looking to build off a strong fall season as it enters the spring opener against some stiff competition. Alabama will go up against Georgetown, Dayton, Kansas, Buffalo and defending national champions, Virginia.
“One of the reasons I think we have had a good winter training is the girls are enthusiastic about what they were able to do this fall and especially the way we finished up,” Alabama head coach Larry Davis said. “I think that’s got them excited for what their potential is. I think the girls are chomping at the bit.”
The Tide is coming off a fall that featured three gold medals at the Chattanooga Head Race and bronze medal finishes at both the Head of the Charles and Head of the Hooch.
“We have made some really good progress these past couples of weeks where we are starting to get into boat speeds that are going to be important on race day and the girls see that and we have been moving people around a bit,” Davis explained. “I think people are pretty excited about having a chance to go race and test their selves against somebody other than ourselves.”
The weekend spent in Oak Ridge will also prepare the Tide for the Conference USA Championships that will be held at Melton Hill Lake, starting on May 17.
“Over the last several years, we usually race their twice, sometimes three times in the spring,” Davis said, referring to Oak Ridge. “This year it will be twice. So we’ve got a pretty good feel for the race course. It’s a very fair race course. There are some odd conditions that can occur that can make the course a little less fair, but if you look at all the race courses in the United States, this is probably one of the most consistent and fairest.”
Alabama will start on Saturday morning at 10:16 a.m. ET, and is slated to participate in six races in the morning before returning to the course at 5:44 p.m., for another six races. On Sunday, the Tide will close out its opening weekend at 9:28 a.m., with another six races.
The Tide will return to the water when it heads to Clemson to face off against the Tigers and Marist. The three teams will participate in the one day event on Saturday, March 23, at Lake Hartwell.