The Crimson White

Alabama heads to Virginia Tech

The men’s and the women’s swim and dive teams will compete in the Virginia Tech Invitational this weekend. UA Athletics

Tyler Waldrep

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Both the men’s and the women’s teams will compete in the Virginia Tech Invitational beginning Thursday and ending Saturday. Coach Dennis Pursley said the event is an important measuring stick for both teams.

“We are putting a little more emphasis on this meet because of where it lies on the calendar,” he said.

The event is also important because it is structured similarly to championship events. The invitational’s format will allow swimmers to compete in more events than usual. The results of these extra events will show swimmers what areas they need to improve in as they prepare for the championship portion of 
the season.

“It will also give us a chance to stand everybody up in the relay events,” Pursley said. “[That would] help us 
determine who is going to swim in those championship relay competitions.”

The meet will also provide both teams with an important opportunity to show their early season improvement was a sign of things to come.

“What has pleased me the most is the fact that although we have come out on the short end on the team scores, for the first time – at least since I have been here – we are holding our own and going toe to toe with SEC heavy weights Georgia and Auburn,” 
Pursley said.

He said the recent improvements have a lot to do with confidence.

“There is just a very clear evolution of the confidence of the team,” he said. “We go against the top teams in the country, and they feel like they belong at 
that level.”

Alabama will face a number of strong opponents at the invitational including South Carolina and host Virginia Tech. Pursley said the team realizes the results will not be more important than the experience they might gain from it.

“The biggest part of it for us is the preparation for the championships at the end of the season,” he said.

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Alabama heads to Virginia Tech