Windermere Cup Press Conference Quotes
Wednesday, May 4, 2005
Conibear Shellhouse; Seattle, Wash.
BOB ERNST, WASHINGTON MEN'S HEAD COACH
On the season so far:
"As you know the Cal duel was our fourth race this year. We had three at the Windermere Classic and then of course the Cal race. And I think, even through the Oregon State race last weekend which was race number five, I think we felt like we were right on the verge of reaching our potential, but not really there yet. I think we have some good athletes in the program, but not performing up to their capability, their absolute optimum capability. You know something, the last couple of years we were kind of groping around at the beginning of the season and we really didn't click. We're still working at it, I think we have more speed than we showed last weekend and more speed than we have shown in any of our five races so far.
"I have absolute confidence in the guys that all 19 of us. Our quest every year is to try to win the Pac-10 Championship and try to win the national championship. The last two years of course we have won the Pac-10 Championship and we have come in second to Harvard at the national championship. We tend to use the dual meet season to get as fast as we can before the real championships start at the end.
"I think being able to have events like this are not only great for the community but they are sensational for the athletes to be able to test themselves against really top level competition as we march through the season. I think we have a good group and I think everybody is working real hard and I certainly encourage that. The Cal race was the Cal race and we hate to lose to Cal. But we beat them by 5 seconds last year on their home court, so right now we are trading home court victories with Cal and neither Cal nor Washington likes to lose to each other. Last year we beat them 3 out of 4 and this year so far we are 0 for 1. But that is another story and that will be next week."
On the new Conibear Shellhouse:
"For the better part of 10 years we have been having bits and starts and lets get it done and do something about it, its going to be three different facilities and three different concepts. It all started in earnest about two years ago when we started having meetings about what are we going to change and what is going to be different. I can tell you that the architectural firm, Miller-Hull and the construction firm, Sellen and the University capital projects people were absolutely phenomenal on this project. As a team they were like no other team that I have ever worked with.
"When we started this project I thought $18 million was a huge amount of money, but only in this world can you imagine the amount of craftsmanship, effort, labor, material, when you see what they put into this place in 16 months. To see what went into this place, you'll see when you look around this place and you only had to pay $18 million for it. It's absolutely phenomenal.
"There was spirit in this building. The guys and gals who worked on this project, this was a crusade for them. I can't imagine it ever, ever turning out better than it really did because there was so much the construction guys with the hard hats, they all wanted Husky stickers for the side. We had cookouts out here in the campground where we keep the boats outside. It was the most spirited, fun project that I have ever seen or that I can ever imagine. It was really, really good. My thanks to everybody who worked on it, it was a good project."
"To have the whole athletic department here, all the tutoring, counselors, computer lab. It is going to be a fun place for the whole athletic department. Money well spent."
ELEANOR McELVAINE, WASHINGTON WOMEN'S COACH
"With the women we didn't change the lineups, we just lit the fire underneath, turned up the burner so to speak. I think that it's coming together. We have made a lot of improvements and talked a lot about using a competitive opportunity to bring out your best. Rather than being so nervous that you end up showing a little less than your potential, which is what happened against California. Last weekend against Oregon State we made a huge improvement, a huge step in the right direction of just going as fast as we could go. There is no feeling more exciting than the Windermere Cup to take that up another notch. Then we have the Pac-10 Championships the following weekend. So it's a great event for us as we look to peaking here at the end of the season."
On the new Conibear Shellhouse:
"It's a good thing. Our athletes get to use all these computer labs and the tutoring rooms. So it's just fantastic support for our athletes to study and do the work that they have to do in order to be successful students. They put in so much time and energy for us and our crew."
On the state of NCAA women's rowing:
"Well the competition is spread out all over the country. There are some great schools racing it out on the East Coast. There are a couple really fast teams in the Big-10 and we have seen some mighty fast teams here on the West Coast. So I would say that the scholarships are making it tougher in women's rowing than it used to be 10 or 15 years ago. But this team has a lot of potential and a lot of heart so I just want to get to the National Championships and throw our hat in the ring and we'll have a good chance."
MATT DEAKIN, MEMBER OF U.S. MEN'S 2004 GOLD MEDAL EIGHT
On where opening day fits in since rowing on a national stage:
"I think in terms of just excitement and spectacle there isn't much that matches opening day. The Olympics was loud, but I remember thinking as we were coming down the last stretch towards the finish line that it wasn't quite as loud as opening day. I think it's absolutely incredible and I was really excited when we learned that it might be possible to do a pairs race here."
On pairs racing:
"Its exciting. We talked to Bob (Ernst) and he thought it would be a really good idea and we called around and the guys who are training at Princeton and San Diego, the other two guys from the eight, were really excited about the opportunity to do it. It just kind of happened and I know that Bob and the guys from Windermere put a lot of work into it and we really appreciate that."
On the new Conibear Shellhouse:
"I think it's absolutely incredible. I just got an opportunity to come upstairs last weekend and see the cafeteria and all these rooms up here. I think it's an absolutely incredible facility. I want to live here I don't just want to train here."
BRYAN VOLPENHEIN, MEMBER OF U.S. MEN'S 2004 GOLD MEDAL EIGHT
On racing in the Windermere Cup this weekend:
"Thanks for having me, I am very excited to be racing this weekend. This will be my third time racing in the Windermere Cup and it's unlike any event I have been to so this is very exciting. The other guys that will be racing are Dan Beery and Beau Hoopman and they have been training in San Diego all winter and they are at Princeton right now and they are coming out here to race us. We are using this weekend for us as a training tool to test our speed and see how things are going. Our next selection race will be in a month and the four of us, depending on how things go, one of the pairs is going to race a pair at the world's or try to. If its not going that well we will join a boat of four, so that is how we are looking at it. Our goal is to give you some exciting racing and give you a show, it will be fun."