Rowing plays host to Jacksonville University

Rowing plays host to Jacksonville University

Layton Dudley

The Crimson Tide rowing team will race the defending MAAC champion Jacksonville University at home this weekend. CW | Layton Dudley

Elliott Propes

After an inaugural race with the new facilities, the Alabama rowing team says it is confident coming into this weekend. Alabama swept Drake University in all four races on the Black Warrior River last weekend. Now the Crimson Tide will race a tougher opponent at home. Defending MAAC champion Jacksonville University is coming to Tuscaloosa on Saturday at 9 a.m.

“We certainly want to carry that momentum forward, and I think we certainly have the ability to do that, but it’s going to be little tougher racing this weekend as opposed to what we experienced this past weekend,” coach Larry Davis said.

The race this weekend will also be senior day. It is the last home race of the season and 12 seniors on the team will graduate in May. After a good crowd last week, the team is expecting an even larger crowd this weekend. Along with senior day ceremonies, it is also the Power of Pink race to raise awareness for breast cancer.

“This senior day is really exciting,” senior Logan O’Neil said. “Just having this culminate my time on racing on the Black Warrior River. It’s a huge moment to go out there and compete one last time on the home course.”

Junior Courtney Atkinson said she was excited to have the crowd last week. It was a large crowd for the new facility, and she said she can’t wait for a larger crowd this week after spring break. She said she believes fans really helped push the team.

“People cheering your name and actually hearing Alabama gives me the motivation to push a little harder,” she said. “One of the most exciting parts of our race is the very end, the sprint, and it can make or break your race sometimes so when you have the fans right next to you it pretty much makes your race.”

Alabama has a couple of races after Saturday before the Big 12 championship. Davis said it will be important to do well at home before they move elsewhere.