Tide finishes season strong

NiCarla Friend

The beginning of spring marks the end of the swimming and diving season, and the Crimson Tide women’s team wrapped its season up at the NCAA Championships in West Lafayette, Ind., March 19-20.

Sophomore Carrie Dragland was one of four women to represent the Tide at the meet. After a top-20 finish on the first day, Dragland finished second in the platform diving event on the second day, only 2.45 points shy of first. Dragland said she did not know how well she had done until near the end of the event.

“I didn’t even know until I went, and there were three more divers,” Dragland says. “Once I was done, I was looking at the board and I was like, ‘Wow, there’s three divers to go, you know, so I at least got fourth.’ Then the third diver went and she didn’t pass up my score, and the second diver went and then I was at least in either first or second. Then the last diver went, and I was just so thrilled at that point that I couldn’t believe it.”

This was Dragland’s second appearance at the NCAA Championships.

“I had a little more confidence going into NCAAs than I did last year just because it was a little scary the first time,” Dragland said.

Dragland, from Woodinville, Wash., was also the recipient of the SEC Athlete of the Week Award on Jan. 19 and the winner of the Platform Event Georgia Invitational on Jan. 5.

Agustina de Giovanni also did well at the NCAA meet, scoring in the 100 meter breaststroke, earning honorable mention All-American honors and placing 27th in the 200 meter breaststroke with a time of 2:12.84.

“She’s a really talented girl,” said head coach Eric McIlquham. “I think she’s been top 10 in all but two events for us here at the University of Alabama. She’s just a very multi-talented girl who has been competing at that level for a long, long time. She’s kind of got the whole package put together.”

Overall, McIlquham said that he is pretty happy with how the season turned out.

“Well, you know at [the SEC Championship] we had the highest finish that we’ve had since I’ve been here,” McIlquham said. “It’s a pretty tough conference.”

McIlquham said he has some goals he wants the team to make for next year.

“Making sure that instead of focusing on one event, they need to make sure they’re good at two events. If I get every kid scoring in two events, I guarantee we’re going to move up another spot or another two spots in our conference,” he said.