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Rowing prepares for visit from Eastern Michigan

Hope Bishop

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There is nothing more important in rowing than team chemistry, and no one knows this better than University of Alabama head coach Larry Davis.

“In the last three or four years we have gotten a better understanding of what it takes to be a high level division-one team,” Davis said. “Of any group we have had, this group seems to have that understanding.”

Team member Jacklin Byers, a senior from Lorton, Virginia, said this year’s team is doing a good job of building that chemistry.

“We have really tried to develop a team culture the four years I have been here,” Byers said. “We are trying to be one big family, and make sure everyone is there for everyone else.”

The University of Alabama rowing team opens the 2016 spring season this Saturday against Eastern Michigan. This event gives both teams a chance to gauge where they are coming off the long layoff. This opening event will be fan friendly, having four sessions of three races at 1,000 meters each. The University is trying to grow support for the team and this opening event is a great opportunity for fans to learn more about rowing.

There is a long layoff from the fall to spring season, and every team member must take it upon themselves to stay in shape and prepare for the spring. Byers said you have to be accountable for yourself and you do not want to let your teammates down.

“We are all co-dependent on each other, we want to do everything for each other and that really helps motivate you to push yourself and to maintain your fitness so you can come back as strong as ever,” Byers said.

Byers knows many people around town and around campus are not familiar with rowing, but she says rowing isn’t that different from a couple of sports we already know.

“Watching rowing is like watching a horse race or a swim meet, where you only have one event at a time,” Byers said. “It is a very interesting sport that a lot of people don’t get the opportunity to see.”

Another team member Maggie Gillespie, from Longwood, Florida, said the home races are special for the team.

“We are really glad to have a home race,” Gillespie said. “It’s really exciting to be able to show off what we have been working on, and to prove what we have been working on has paid off.”

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Rowing prepares for visit from Eastern Michigan