By (Ehsan Kassim)

Alabama’s rowing team emerged from the water to The Park on Manderson Lake to a series of applause from the crowd, after opening its season with a sweep of Eastern Michigan Saturday.

Alabama and Eastern Michigan raced in 16 separate 1,000 meter pieces, with Alabama winning all 16.

“The conditions were great and I think both teams rowed well,” said head coach Larry Davis. “I thought we were able to work on some of the things we wanted to accomplish and we achieved most of our goals.”

Davis was happy that his team came out and performed well in its first meet after a long layoff, but he still found things for the team to work on and clean up before their next race against Bucknell on Saturday March 11 in Dublin, Va.

“Cashman,” the Crimson Tide’s First Varsity 8+ crew posted two sub-3:30 times. Its fastest time of the day was in its first 1,000-meter piece, crossing in 3:25.81.

Emily Navin, a senior and the cox on that “Cashman” boat was pleased with the effort and the results from her boat mates.

“We had a great first race,” Navin said. “But the next two races were very competitive, with a lot more boat contact with Eastern Michigan. So, we really wanted to comeback in that fourth piece to finish off strong, to finish off with a nice definitive win.”

Alabama’s Second Varsity 8+ “Mal Moore” best time came in their fourth session, as they capped the day with a 3:29.28 time in the fourth session. The school’s second boat in that race, “Black Warrior,” also finished the day with in its fastest time in the final session with a 3:34.99 time.

“Tenacious” finished with a 3:38.28 time in the fourth session of the Third Varsity 8+/Novice 8+, its fastest time of the day. “Courageous,” second-place in that same race, timed 3:43.74 in the third session for its fastest time of the day.

“Synergy” won the first two pieces in the Varsity 4+, but “Rammer Jammer” took the final two pieces. “Synergy” posted a 3:55.8 time in the first session, the fastest of any boat in that event.

Alabama’s last race came on Nov. 5, so hitting the water to compete against another rowing team instead of practicing brought joy to the rowers.

“It was so exciting,” Navin said. “There was this excitement around the boathouse this morning because it was finally race day.” “It was great to know this morning we were competing against another crew.”

The fans showed up in strong numbers on a Saturday morning to support the rowing team, something that was not lost upon the rowers.

“It was so exciting,” Navin said. “To have all those fans cheering for us is really great and gave us more energy. Alabama has the best fans.”

A group of Alabama students donned signs and cheered on their favorite rower, junior Nicole Lane.

“I have known and cheered for Nicole since she was a freshman,” said senior and president of the Nicole Lane fan club Katie Alexander. “She did phenomenal, she’s always phenomenal, she’s an awesome person.”

Alexander plans on attending more rowing meets this semester to support the team and Lane especially.

“It was great, Alexander said. “We’ll definitely be here for the Power of Pink race on March 16.”

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Source:: The Crimson White Sports