Alabama rowing team makes history, ranked nationally for first time

University of Alabama rowing team -- April, 2019. (Source: WBRC)
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TUSCALOOSA, AL (WBRC) - For the first time in program history, Alabama’s rowing team is ranked in the top 20 in the nation.

“I was with a couple of other seniors and we kind of actually teared up," said junior Arielle Schafer.

“It was shocking, I don’t think any of us really expected it,” said sophomore Ilaria Earl.

For the past three weeks, the Crimson Tide has found themselves ranked 18th or better in the US Rowing/CRCA Poll after sweeping their opponents.

“It’s crazy, I came here thinking oh Alabama’s not the best in rowing, but for me to come here and help my team and us gel together, we’ve done so well as a team it’s crazy," added sophomore Darcy Jennings.

This is one of the best rowing teams Alabama’s had in its thirteen seasons. The biggest difference this year? The new coaching staff with Glenn Putyrae, who’s in his first year.

“I think we just have a different mindset this season. They’ve just helped us take that extra step to help propel us through and keep us centered towards the goal we want to achieve,” Earl added.

Alabama will compete at the conference championships in a few weeks. The goal is to finish in the top three and qualify for nationals.

“We’ve never done this before, so it’s very exciting. We have a very high potential of making our goal," said Earl.

“Hopefully we can adapt, keep growing and just improve," said head coach Glenn Putyrae.

Alabama will compete at Clemson this weekend.

Copyright 2019 WBRC. All rights reserved.

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