By (Ehsan Kassim)

Not even the threat of severe weather and rain could dampen the special day for Alabama seniors in their final home rowing meet on Saturday, as they took on the Dayton Flyers.

Led by its seven seniors, Abby Marks, Dani Mazer, Rebecca McGinn, Jennifer Parker, Allie Pospisil, Katie Scott and Gabby Sprio, the Crimson Tide swept the Flyers in nine races.

“It was a great cap to these past four years,” said Scott. “It was a very nice way to end my senior year in a boat full of girls I really love and worked hard with these past few weeks. We had a really good showing from all our crews.”

Scott and the other Alabama seniors were honored after the race for everything they contributed to both the rowing team and the University the past four years.

“It was nice to be recognized and hear a list of accomplishments of everything the seven of have done for the past four years,” Scott said. “We saw it all come to fruition here in this final home race.”

Due to the threat of severe weather, the race was moved up from an hour from the original 9 a.m. start time. The race consisted of three separate sessions. The first session was 2,000 meters with the final two being shorter 1,000 meter pieces.

Dory, Alabama’s “A” boat won each of its three pieces in the Varsity 4+. It posted a 7:51.0 time in the first session and 3:59.5 and 3:59.0 in the second and third pieces, respectively.

Courageous won each of the three pieces in the Second Varsity 8+, with each of Alabama’s four crews rounding out the top four in each race.

In the First Varsity 8+, White Lightnin’ swept the pieces and posted the fasted time in the 200-meter piece, finishing at 6:55.3

The fact that a high number of fans showed up to watch the regatta, despite the weather threat was not lost upon Scott.

“Its amazing people came out even with the chance of it raining,” Scott said. “We had a great crowd, one of our best crowds. They were really energetic and the weather ended up being beautiful. It was a great day.”

The weather was something head coach Larry Davis said he had been keeping an eye for the past two weeks. When he saw a window of opportunity to get the race in, he did not hesitate to move the race up an hour.

Even with the conditions being less than ideal, Davis came away impressed with what his team accomplished on Saturday. He believes it could benefit the team the rest of the season.

“The conditions we have here on the Black Warrior tend to be a little slow,” Davis said. “We were going into a light current and we also had a little bit of a head wind, somewhere between 10-15 mph. I was surprised the times were as fast as they were, so I am pleased with that. That gives us a good idea [about] things we may be able to accomplish on a neutral course that doesn’t have that a current [that] we have to race into and a head win. We’re looking forward to see what that means for when we go down to Sarasota and race on basically the course that will be used for the world championships this year.”

Alabama will travel to Sarasota, Fla. for the Sarasota Invitational next week for a two-day event on Friday and Saturday.

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Source:: The Crimson White Sports