May 11, 2012
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -
The Alabama rowing team is in Oak Ridge, Tenn. this weekend to compete in Saturday’s Conference USA Championships on Melton Hill Lake.
“I believe we’re set up to have our best meet this weekend,” UA head coach Larry Davis said. “The weather should be pretty accommodating. It’s really up to us. We are certainly looking forward to putting our best race on the water.”
The Crimson Tide, which is an affiliate member of C-USA in rowing, will compete against SMU, Tulsa, and Central Florida, along with fellow affiliate members Kansas, Kansas State, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Texas.
“I think Oklahoma is contending for the top spot this year,” Davis said. “The teams that have been at the top end in the past couple of years are still there. Tennessee, Texas, Central Florida and Oklahoma have been the top four teams since the inception and we’d like to get some traction in that area.”
Alabama will be seeing many of its conference foes for the second or third time this and is making its second trip to Melton Hill Lake after opening the spring season at the Oak Ridge Invitational. The Tide practiced in Tennessee on Friday in preparation for Saturday’s slate of races.
"We practiced well today, so hopefully we’ll carry that over and we’ll be able to perform the kind of racing that we want,” Davis said. “We’ve certainly gotten closer to it as the season’s gone along."
This is the third annual C-USA Rowing Championship, but the second as a stand-alone event as the first year was held in conjunction with the Aramark South/Central Region Sprints.
Preliminary heats, beginning with Varsity 8 races, are scheduled to start at 9 a.m. EDT Saturday on the 2,000-meter course. C-USA will determine the team champion based on placement in Varsity 8+, Second Varsity 8+ and Varsity 4+ races. Team and individual awards will be presented at a ceremony following the regatta.