IRA Men's Rowing Championships
Day 2 -- Friday, June 1, 2007
Cooper River; Cherry Hill, N.J.
Washington Head Coach
On the varsity eight crew:
"It's going to be a great race tomorrow. Our guys did what they needed to do today and that's what we came out for. I expect these guys to go real fast tomorrow.
"The hays in the barn. All I've got to do is have my boys go out for practice and not hit a tree stump. Then we'll find out who's got the best team. That's one of the things that I think is neat about rowing versus other sports where they vote for who the national champion is. Tomorrow at this time we will know for the whole year.
"They just need to row within themselves and not make any foolish mistakes and I think they will do all right.
"The thing that's always intriguing to me is you look at the four crews that have got a legitimate shot at winning this thing, they are the same ones that win it or come close almost every year. It's programs, kind of coaches, but programs and resources and expectations. That's what will make tomorrow fun, to see who's got just a little bit more of the ingredients this year.
"It's so much fun now because everybody that's good is here. Ten years ago it wasn't that way. The fact that Harvard and Yale are showing up. Cal and Washington are showing up all the time now. Stanford's got a good team and there are three Pac-10 teams in the final. That's good for our conference and keeps us on our toes. It makes us work hard because we don't want to be third best in the conference, that's for sure."
On the insignificance of times in preliminary races:
"There are so many games that people play where there are heats and semifinals and all that kind of stuff. My philosophy is you just try to win the heat if you can and do it as economically as you can. Then you try to win the semifinal if you can and you do it economically if you have that option."
On the second varsity crew:
"They rowed better. I love them again. They got a really good shot at winning this thing. They can take that Wisconsin bunch, I know they can."
Varsity Eight No. 3 Seat
On the semifinal race:
"It was pretty tough. The water was a little bit choppy and we didn't have the greatest strokes during the race. But, we got off to a great start. We got out and tried to stay comfortable. We were pushing pretty hard at the end, but it was a good feeling. We saw them moving on us and at the start of the 500 we took our big move there. In the first 10 strokes we moved out probably three or four seats. From then on we all kind of knew that it was ours to take. We just kept our rhythm and followed our race plan.
"Tomorrow is the big day. Clearly Stanford's got some speed and Princeton did pretty well. Cal and Harvard are tough. There is a lot of speed this year. The grand final is going to be a showdown the whole way down. I don't think anyone is going to give anybody and inch. There are going to be boats taking moves constantly. We've just got to be on our game and Katelin (Snyder) has to know where everyone is. We've got to win."
Second Varsity Eight No. 6 Seat
"We were better than yesterday. We kind of stepped back in to what our element is. Yesterday we were a little out of our element. We know what it is and we know what we have to do. A lot of times we get so focused on our power that the rate tends to get down. But, if we're still moving the boat we just keep going. Typically when Micah (Perrin) wants us to take a move, the rate will come up. Depending on what we need to do, we'll keep it that way and do whatever it takes.
On the grand final:
"We know what we need to do. We know that Wisconsin doesn't know what our last 500 can really be like. I expect a hard race. A close race. All across the board it's going to be close. It's going to come down to whoever is able to push themselves the hardest.
On racing three straight days in humid 90-degree temperatures:
"It's pretty tough, but Bob's (Ernst) program has prepared us for this the whole year. We knew what to expect. We just have to believe in what we've been doing, believe in the program and we'll be ready."
Freshman Eight No. 6 Seat
"This was one of the hardest races we have had because we had to go for the full length of the course. For 2,000 meters we went full throttle. We made two moves, which were planned, and kept defending from Harvard. But then, we found ourselves in the need to do an extra move, which was a little shorter, to try to run away from them. In the finish, Harvard started catching up on us and we went full, maximum pressure to the finish line.
"This is a wonderful event to participate in because it is so well organized and there are so many great competitors. It's a real pleasure to be here. An even bigger pleasure than to be here is actually to go home with a medal. So, we're here to do the job and we are hoping to get the best medal we can.
"I expect that Saturday will be a hard race and a real, true fight for positions."
Open Four Stroke
"Thinking about it last night, we got kind of excited. We knew we could put it together. Yesterday some people wondered whether we were going to be able to do it because it was the first time we raced. We set our boat four days ago, so we're kind of shooting from the hip now and we don't really know what we can do. It's exciting to be able to keep advancing here.
"We need the experience. We only have two races under our belts, and that's here at the IRAs. We need the racing experience and it's definitely going to help us organize our race plan for tomorrow so we can go take it to them.
"Our plan was to race the race. We knew that our season was over if we didn't get first. We just raced out and didn't get super frantic because we knew if we got super frantic that we would blow our energy off. So we just took it easy and started hammering through. It ended up paying off for us, we were able to walk through the other guys.
"I stroked last year's open four to the national championship, so I'm a part of that legacy. It's fun to be able to come out here and do it again. Hopefully we can put it together and make it happen."