Rowing looks to start spring season strong

Layton Dudley

The Alabama women’s rowing team will compete in its first regatta of the Cardinal Invitational Regatta in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. CW | Layton Dudley

Ben Boynton

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Head coach Larry Davis said the regatta will be a tough test for 
the team.

“It’s something we’ve gone to the last three or four years, and it’s always a big challenge due to all the tough teams that are there,” 
Davis said.

Davis said he likes the toughness of the season opening regatta because it helps the team see where it stands at the start of the season.

The team has continued to prepare for the start of the season even though the weather doesn’t always let it practice on the river.

“With the weather, we’ve kind of been stuck on land, but we’ve been able to get into the water this week and settle into our lineups,” senior Melissa Etter said.

Since rowing is a team sport that requires synchronization and 
cooperation, the team has been working on building chemistry.

“One thing that we’ve been working on is getting everybody to work together, trying to make sure that everyone can row well with everyone else,” senior Ashley Allison said.

Allison and Etter said they believe the team has been able to use the time since the fall season ended in November to bond. Etter said she thinks the team’s new boathouse has helped the process.

“We’ve really gotten closer through winter training and having a boathouse that we can call home has helped bring us together,” she said.

Allison said she thinks this year’s team might be the closest one she’s been a part of.

“We definitely have the best attitude right now,” she said. “Throughout the offseason, you spend a lot of time indoors and it’s easy to get into individual mindsets, but this year we’ve really been competing with each other and worked on staying a team.”

The offseason hasn’t only been about getting closer together. The team has worked hard to get even better out on the water. It hits the water when the weather permits and has worked to carry over the success of the fall season. Davis said he hopes the speed of the fall transitions into the new season.

“We want to improve throughout the spring, and we want to be successful every time we go out on the water,” he said.

The Cardinal Invitational Regatta is one of five regattas the Crimson Tide will participate in this season before the Big 12 Championships in mid-May. Allison and Etter said they believe the team is ready to go out.

“The goal is always to go out there and do our best, but I think this year we’ve grown a lot as a team and just shown what we can do on the water,” Etter said.