March 21, 2008
COLUMBUS, Ohio -
One of Alabama Rowing head coach Larry Davis' goals for his young squad is to see them work hard to improve within themselves, and to improve week to week. Another goal is to challenge them with ever harder opponents.
His first goal is well on its way to being a reality this season with strong showings against UNC and Drake already in the books. As for goal two, it's hard to argue that after facing this weekend's opponents Alabama will be able to check that one off as done.
The Tide faces Ohio State and Michigan this weekend in Columbus, Ohio, both of which are contenders for the NCAA finals this year, on the Griggs Reservoir Saturday. The Buckeyes were third at the NCAA Championships last season.
"Both Ohio State and Michigan are among the nation's best," Davis said. "We'll definitely know where we stand after this weekend."
The trip north means the weather will be markedly colder than the sunny climate the Tide has enjoyed to this point in the spring season. Rain has meant that the reservoir has been high lately; making conditions rougher than usual, but Davis isn't worried about that for Saturday.
"They have a spillway near the end of the course that allows them to regulate the conditions pretty well," Davis said. "I think we'll be in good shape and hopefully ready to race."
The three teams will be competing mainly over a 1,000-meter course, much like the Tide's dual meet with Drake last week.