With the new school year underway, Alabama sports are getting ready to begin their seasons. While football gets the majority of the attention, Alabama cross country, swimming and diving, and rowing teams all kick off their seasons and will be looking to build on their success.
The Alabama cross-country team lost a lot of talent in their senior class at the conclusion of the last season, including one of the more decorated athletes Quanesha Burks. However, head coach Dan Waters is still confident about the group he has for the upcoming season.
“With the talent we have stockpiled over the years, we have a lot of depth,” Waters said. “We had our best recruiting year we have ever had since I’ve been at Alabama. We have had a couple of top five classes already, but this one is above and beyond those. We signed some great freshmen, some guys that can come in and do special things. But we also signed some guys that were getting it done at junior colleges and D2 transfers.”
Waters does not believe he can replace the intangibles that Burks brought to the team, but is confident that his signing of Jaimie Robinson, the top triple-jumper in high school, could help alleviate the loss. Alabama will kick its season off in Oxford, Alabama on Sept. 1 at the Jacksonville State University Strut’s Season Opener.
Dennis Pursley, the swimming coach at The University of Alabama, has one clear goal for the upcoming season and he believes his team has the talent to do it.
“Our biggest challenge is to get the women’s team up to the level where the men have been the last three years,” Pursley said. “We felt we got off to a really good start last year, but for a lot of reasons we didn’t finish up the way we had hoped. We have renewed hope and optimism this year, bringing on the strongest women’s freshman class in any year at Alabama.”
The Crimson Tide sent only five individual women swimmers to the NCAA Championships in Indianapolis, Indiana a season ago. Pursley would love for that number to grow to all the women, creating a chance to place higher in the point totals.
The men’s swimming and diving team posted its third straight top-10 NCAA finish. The men placed in second place in the 2017 United States Open, held in East Meadow, New York, at the Nassau County Aquatics Center on Aug. 6, while the women placed 25th. The Crimson Tide kicks its season off Sept. 15 against Delta State, in Cleveland, Mississippi at 1 p.m.
Alabama’s women’s rowing team had its most successful season in program history during the 2017 spring season. A fourth place finish at the Big 12 Championships and three medals marked program bests. Head coach Larry Davis has high aspirations for the season. He feels good about the recruiting class and with the team losing only a few seniors, feels good about the talent returning.
“Right now it looks like we’re in a position that was have enough talent and the girls do their job, we will have an opportunity to get to the NCAA’s,” Davis said.
One of the new recruits, Stephanie Parker, will be the third Parker sister to row with Alabama. Jennifer Parker earned all-conference honors last season. Davis has not worked with the team during the summer, but is confident that the team will return and be ready to hit the water to build of last season’s success.
“It sounds like from the feedback we have been receiving that the girls have been doing their job,” Davis said. “They are going to do a couple of fitness tests when they get back.”
Source:: The Crimson White Sports