OAK RIDGE, Tenn. – Alabama rowing went head-to-head with some of the nation’s top boats in day one of the Cardinal Invite Saturday, posting four first-place finishes, two second-place finishes and four third-place finishes.
“It was a great day of racing, overall,” UA head coach Glenn Putyrae said. “Racing this level of competition now will help us as we progress through the season.”
The Tide kicked off its morning session against Louisville and Notre Dame. Alabama’s First Varsity 8+ (5:44.918) finished second, five-tenths of a second off first-place Louisville. The Tide picked up steam with the Varsity 4+ (6:21.357), Third Varsity 8+ (5:58.449), Second Varsity 8+ (5:54.929) and Second Varsity 4+ (6:32.977) crews all winning their respective races. The finishes gave Alabama four-consecutive wins to close out the first session of racing.
The Tide’s 1V4+ first-place finish was the fastest time of any Varsity 4+ crew of the entire morning session.
“We felt all crews had a good first race and showed some improvement,” Putyrae said. “We are excited to see their improvement continue.”
After a short break, the Tide returned to the water against Virginia and Yale – both of which finished in the top-10 of last season’s CRCA/US Rowing Coaches Poll. Alabama’s 1V8+ (5:49.333), 1V4+ (6:24.940), 3V8+ (5:59.996) and 2V8+ (5:54.765) crews each finished third, before the Tide’s 2V4+ (6:25.828) capped off the session with a second-place finish. Alabama’s bow crossed the line one-tenth of a second ahead of Virginia to secure the finish.
“We were pleased with how aggressively all our crews raced against two top-10 teams,” Putyrae said. “We are learning what we are capable of, the next step is to improve our finishing speed.”
The Tide wraps up competition at the Cardinal Invite Sunday morning at 9:44 a.m. CT against Clemson and Indiana. The teams will follow the same racing schedule as Saturday, with the 2V4+ crews closing out the flight at 10:16 a.m. CT.