NCAA Women's Rowing Championships
Day 3 -- Sunday, May 28 2006
Lake Mercer, West Windsor, N.J.
Washington Head Coach
On the seventh-place finish:
"Seventh is an improvement over last year's ninth place, so we're really happy about that. It's one of those things where slowly as a team you have to turn the corner and get things headed back in the right direction. We have a lot of young kids here and a lot of them aren't happy. They're not totally satisfied with seventh and that's a good thing."
On the streak of top-10 finishes:
"It's huge. Every year it gets harder and harder to make it to this elite 12, if you will. We're really happy to be one of the few that is continually here. It's our goal to keep it going."
On Sunday's championship racing:
"I'm really happy how everybody raced today. We had very exciting, close races. Our kids were in there fighting to the very end. It was a very exciting championship. That last race (varsity eight grand final) was the furthest spread of any of the races. I'm really proud of how our gals did. It's a good send-off for the seniors that we have and a really good impetus for the kids that are coming back. I think they understand how hard they have to work to in order to make it into the top five or six."
On the varsity eight petite final
"That was a gutsy battle all the way down, for them to come back. As I was looking early in the race, I was afraid they were getting fifth. They just fought to the very last stroke. That's what we talked about before they left, `all you need is to get your bow ball in front and you can do it on the very last stroke.' So they fought all the way to the end. We've got a great group of gals."
How difficult was it for the varsity eight to have four races in three days?:
"Physically it really takes a toll, especially in the heat and humidity, which are conditions that we don't normally deal with. Obviously, we train for it. We do the best we can to prepare. It really comes down to guts, to do it four times like that. They honestly feel like they got better every time. One of the seniors, when she was getting out of the boat said, "I'm just sorry we're done because it just feels like we're getting better every time.'"
Varsity Eight No. 6 Seat
"It was awesome. We got out fast off the blocks, not as fast as in our heat, but faster than in our rep. Eva (Anderson) was just calling where the crews where and giving us a really good idea of what we had to do to get past them and get up on the other crews. Our focus was on Yale because of the team competition. They were our team to beat and we did that. We came to the last 500, hearing the crowd, feeling the boat and we got into that tunnel feeling and we just went. We're all feeling it a little bit in our legs with four races in three days. But, we've been really positive over the nationals. Instead of just sort of dwelling on how we did in the heat, we pulled together and focused in. We knew that if we went together that it would come out and it did. To come back and beat Yale and USC who beat us in the heats, was great. We just had our best races of the season and that's what you want to do to finish up."
Second Varsity Eight Coxswain
"We didn't back down. We pushed all the way down, fought off Stanford and fought off Yale. That was one of our main goals, to take them. We stayed with Michigan State, but couldn't get them at the end. Our first thousand was a little wobbly, but we got out and got super-internal and focused and just went. As they days go on, you just want it more and more at these championships. By the end, you are ready to lay it all out on the table. There was some general disappointment because it would have been really cool to go to the grand final, but we came back and had one of our best races of the year."
Varsity Four Stroke
"We had a really good race, but there are other crews out there that are strong. You just have to take some and lose some. We did have a really good finish, a really good sprint. We're all young and we know what we're going to have to do next year during the training season to do what we need to do for racing season next year. We had a really good race. We're all disappointed that we didn't place any higher, but we are so happy with what we've done."