By (Ehsan Kassim)

Undefeated and confident, the University of Alabama women’s rowing team travels to Sarasota, Fla. this weekend for the Fira Rowing Regatta, which features its toughest competition of the spring season.

So far this season, Alabama has swept both its home regattas and won six of the nine races against Bucknell.

Alabama’s hot start has junior Charlotte Adkins confident in her team’s ability to perform against some of the top schools, including Big 12 Conference rival, Kansas State.

“We’re going into Sarasota undefeated, which is the first time we have done that in a while,” Adkins said. “We’re going to have some really stiff competition and our team is so much faster and we have so much more depth than we have ever had. We have some really fast underclassman coming up and pushing us. I really think we are going to have a fast race. We really want to be in the medal range. But we also would obviously want to win and put out some really fast times. I think we have it in us. I am really excited about the race.”

Adkins believes that the team’s closeness and teamwork has played a large role in the rowing team’s success.

“Honestly, I love our team,” Adkins said. “We have developed so much. We have had so many personal records this year. We could not have done that without all the girls we have. Rowing is a team sport, you’re not just one person on a boat. If one person has an off day, it throws everything off. You’re not just working for yourself, or your boat, but your school.”

Head coach Larry Davis said that his team will lose a day of practice with the team traveling on Thursday to Sarasota. The team will also have a smaller window of opportunity to practice in Sarasota before it races.

Davis feels the team is well prepared for the race, and he will try to make sure the team is not battling any nerves this weekend, since it is facing the stiffest competition have so far this year.

“A lot of what you do on race day is mental,” Davis said. “All the other stuff you’ve been doing up until that point is there, but you have to have the discipline to make sure you do it the way you practiced it. There could be, if you’re not careful, a factor of intimidation, where you go out and your nerves get the best of you. It is something we have addressed with our team.”

Davis believes his team should overcome any intimidation they may have this weekend, placing a lofty goal for his team to accomplish.

“We’re looking for a top 3 finish,” Davis said. “Then we can convince ourselves that we have what it takes to do what we need to do. If we don’t get every little small thing done, it will tell us what we need to do to take that next step. A lot of positive can come out of this race.”

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Source:: The Crimson White Sports