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NCAA Regatta -- Day 2 Quotes
Release: 05/27/2006
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NCAA Women's Rowing Championships
Day 2 -- Saturday, May 27 2006
Lake Mercer, West Windsor, N.J.


Eleanor McElvaine
Washington Head Coach

"With the varsity, I'm really proud of how they came fighting back today. We knew it was going to be really, really hard to make the top three. We were just going to fight to the very last stroke and try to get our bow ball in front and came up 10 feet short of that or something. It was a really good effort all the way through. It shows the level of competition that is here. We've made some great progress from last year to this year and that's all you can do is to keep working your way back. I was talking to the Brown coach and we were both bemoaning the good old days when either one of us use to win by a lot. Nobody is winning by a lot now. Princeton is obviously the one crew that has the potential to win by a lot here, but everybody else is just really tight. It's good for the sport and makes for exciting racing. I'm really proud of our kids. They fought really hard and they're not done yet. We're definitely putting together the best races between Friday's rep and today's semifinal. There's just a couple things we want to polish up for tomorrow and we're going to feel good about what we did."

Courtney Plitt
Varsity Eight Stroke

"We had a really, really strong fight. We had a good start and counteracted moves with everyone. We just ran out of racecourse at the end there. Probably about 750 meters to go, in the middle of the third 500, Eva (Anderson) made a call that it wasn't over and we were going for it. We took our move at the 1250 and went into the sprint. We were ready to go and gave it our last shot. There have been some upsets here. Some crews that thought they were going to go all the way are back with us in petites. The petite final is going to be a hard fight with a tough, deep field. We've actually stepped it up a lot in the last couple races. Each race has gotten a little better, figuring things out. Sunday we're ready to put it all together and have a good fight.

Cara Troelstra
Second Varsity Eight No. 7 Seat

"It's kind of a new crew that was just put together, so it was really strong for how quickly we came together. It's so close. It's hard to race when it's that close, but it's exciting. Basically you want to keep it steady as long as possible, to keep the momentum going. At the end, I like to really have a really big bang and try to really push it, to make a strong finish. In our last race we kind of died down in the middle so this race we were more concentrating on the middle thousand to really keep it steady and keep up the momentum that we carried through the beginning. If we could have had 10 more strokes worth of length, I think we could have gotten into first or second. It's different because we are used to rowing into a headwind and this is a tailwind.

Sean Mulligan
Assistant Coach

"They just raced smarter than yesterday. Yesterday we sort of let the moment or the whole thing of being at the NCAAs get to us a little it too much. So we really emphasized settling down and doing what we've done in practice every day. That's what they did today, they were more aggressive and they just rowed within themselves more. They were able to show more of their true boat speed today."

Is this crew capable of winning a medal?
"I think so. But they are a younger crew than we've had the last couple years so it depends on how they execute Sunday. You have to get into the final to be able to win the thing and they did that. They have the capability to do real well, it's just going to depend on how they go all the way down the racecourse tomorrow. It's a tougher field. The field itself is faster than the last couple years."

Asiha Grigsby
Varsity Four No. 3 Seat

"It was ugly, but sometimes you have to row ugly to do what you want to do. We were in survival mode and we made it into the next round. I'm excited for my team and happy for the way we pulled together at the end and made a quick comeback. Our bladework wasn't as clean as it needed to be and we were bobbling around a little bit. You win some and you lose some, but we made it in. We had a great start. Usually we are pretty slow out of the starts just because we are a heavier boat. So it takes us a little while longer to get going. But, today we were fluid, we were all in together. We were in and out real quick with good bladework and we jumped out to the start really fast. We usually build into our rates pretty well, so this was definitely different. I think it's a good difference that we can work on for tomorrow.

"To be honest I was very nervous Friday. It was first race back in the four. I've been with these girls since the beginning of the season, but just to take that leave of absence for three or four races and come back at the national championships, that's a huge jump. So it definitely took us a while just to get our rhythm back, but I think we got it. I'm excited for tomorrow.

"I'm very aware of the legacy the fours have. We have a great legacy going on. Two years ago we placed second, last year we were third. I want to keep that tradition going. I want to come home with some rings, some gold medals and a national championship. I'm ready to do it."

Sofia Benson-Goldberg
Varsity Four Coxswain

"It was kind of a ride. It was really exciting to be up at the front at the start. An then, all of a sudden Wazzu came up and we kind of rode them the whole way down. The middle of the race was kind of rocky. At the end we just decided to go. Yesterday they were looking for the feel-good row. That's important to feel good, but when you go on full-pressure, full-blast it's not always going to feel good. Today it was definitely out of the comfort zone, but it was more strong, more powerful. It's really exciting. This is my first NCAAs, so I'm pumped to be here and to be in the final. We're kind of defying the standards."

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