By outreach@cw.ua.edu (Ehsan Kassim)

Alabama women’s rowing team came into the FIRA Rowing Regatta confident that they could not only perform well against tougher opponents, but also come out ahead in some of the races.

The team was able to prove itself correct with strong showings on both Friday and Saturday. Alabama won six total races and posted nine top-three finishes.

The Crimson Tide did not have a single boat that finished lower than fifth place.

“Everybody was stepping up their game today with the hunt for medals,” said head coach Larry Davis. “Overall I think that everyone had a pretty solid day today. Everyone was stronger all-around it was a great two days of racing. We have a lot of young ladies and some who walked on to the team and with the progress they’ve already made so far, we’re excited about the prospects of what we can do the rest of the season. We have shown we can start running with this level of competition and we’re excited about that.”

Heavy winds and tough weather were not enough to slow Alabama down on Friday, as they won three races and finished in the top five in the other three.

“I thought we did a great job stepping up against good competition in unfavorable conditions,” Davis said. “We have faced some adverse conditions this year, most recently in Virginia against Bucknell, and we are learning to handle these conditions better.”

Alabama’s First Varsity 8+ finished with two third-place finishes, winning bronze. The Second Varsity 8+ finished in fifth place both days, but improved on their time by five seconds from Friday to Saturday.

UA’s First and Second Varsity 4+ matched their first-place finishes from Friday by taking gold with times of 7:32.0 and 7:33.4, respectively,on Saturday.

Alabama’s Third Varsity 8+ “A” boat shared the success of the Varsity 4 boats, winning races on both days. The “B” boat finished in third Friday and fourth Saturday.

Davis will allow his team to celebrate this strong performance for a little bit, but then it’s right back to work.

“It was one of our strongest overall team performances in quite some time, especially against the tough competition,” Davis said. “We can enjoy it for about 24 or 48 hours before having to get right back to work.”

Alabama will race next in the XII Double Dual Regatta in Oak Ridge, Tenn. They will be facing off against some of their Big 12 conference opponents, including Tennessee, West Virginia and Old Dominion, on Melton Lake, starting at 9 a.m. ET Saturday April 8.

“Part of the purpose of next week is to see some Big XII crews ahead of the conference championships in May,” Davis said. “We haven’t had a chance to see these teams but based on our performances against teams like this week, we’re excitedly looking forward to next week and we have expectations of having really solid races next Saturday. We have high hopes to go out and win the races that will have us seeded high in the conference.”

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Source:: The Crimson White Sports