May 25, 2006
The Washington women's rowing team opens the NCAA Championships, Friday. The three-day regatta runs from May 26-28 in West Windsor, N.J. The Huskies are one of just three teams to qualify for all 10 championship regattas since the NCAA began sponsoring women's rowing in 1997.
Senior Eva Anderson (Seattle, Wash/Shorecrest) is the coxswain for the 11th-ranked varsity eight crew. Eva spent a few minutes with GoHuskies.com, talking about the season and describing her thoughts on the upcoming NCAA Championships.
GoHuskies.com: How has the season been going for you so far?
Eva Anderson: "Really well. I have been having a really good time. Personally I think all my races have been successful in one way or another."
GoHuskies: Would you comment on your Windermere Cup race against the Russian National Team?
EA: "It was a really good opportunity for us to race against a national team like that. It was a really good racing experience. It was just another opportunity for us to practice having internal focus and maintaining our boat's speed and doing our own race plan and not counteracting somebody else. It was a good opportunity for us and I think that we executed that very successfully."
GoHuskies: How good has the Pac-10 been this year with six ranked varsity eight crews?
EA: "They are really good. The whole West Coast is really fast, it is really fun."
GoHuskies: How do you feel about the varsity eight's performance in the loaded Pac-10 grand final?
EA: "I was really proud of my crew for the grand finals, because at the first 500 we were still the last place boat and I called a move. We were so internally focused on our own boat's speed like I said before, we just trusted in our rhythm so well. It was really fun because I said we are going to take five strokes here and get even with Stanford and then we are going to take our 20 and move out of there. We did that, we got even, and then we took a move and we got out of there and we were able to pass two crews. The other three boats ahead were feeding off of each other so much and it was almost like it was their own race for themselves. It was really hard to get back in it with them, but we tried the entire way down to keep putting the pressure on them and keep them moving. It was never like we are going to hand it to you on a silver platter, it was a really good race."
GoHuskies: "That same six crews from the Pac-10 grand final will compete at the NCAAs in New Jersey. Why is the West Coast so good this year?
EA: "I have no idea. I know that everyone is training hard and working hard. Maybe recruiting, I don't know I can't venture a guess."
GoHuskies: What are you thoughts on the NCAA championships being held in New Jersey?
EA: "We are really excited to go to the East Coast. It kind of switches things up. We have been down to Sacramento so many times, I think everyone thinks of it as a special place to go to. We are all really pumped about it. A new spot can bring new excitement."
GoHuskies: Going back to NCAAs do you like the fact that there are a lot of crews that are familiar to you or do you prefer to race against teams you know nothing about?
EA: "It is always good to race against unknown people because you don't know what to expect so you can't anticipate anything. Whereas, if you have already raced someone and lost to them, then it is hard to attack them and if you have already beat someone you can get complacent. There are pros and cons to both sides."
GoHuskies: Looking back to last Tuesday and the selection announcements, how did you find out that the team was in the invitational?
EA: "Eleanor (McElvaine) said that she had sent an e-mail out to everyone, as soon as she found out at noon. So everyone was either near a phone or by a computer. I was actually in the art building in the basement, because I work down there in the photo lab and we have a computer. I just kept checking my e-mail over and over and over. Finally it came, but there wasn't a message there, just the subject of the e-mail. It was we are in. I started jumping up and down and screaming I got some strange looks but I didn't care, I was so excited."
GoHuskies: You are completing your career this year, does it feel like the time has gone by fast or slow?
EA: "Both, if that works. In some ways it went by really fast and other ways I think about every single day that I was down here it seems kind of slow. But it has been really fun, it has been a really good experience. I have learned so many things that I will take with me for the rest of my life and I will have so many memories that I will have for the rest of my life which will be really special."
GoHuskies: "What is the most memorable moment in your career?
EA: "There are so many things, like little things in practice like all of the inside jokes that we have. It is hard to pick just one. But definitely Windermere Cup racing. The first time is amazing, well every time down is amazing."
GoHuskies: Did you have any mishaps as a coxswain during you career at Washington?
EA: "I have never hit anything. I am very pleased about that, knock on wood. I have never hit the dock or anything like that."
GoHuskies: Each crew athlete has their name on one of those flat wooden sticks used by doctors as tongue depressers. Last Friday after your final on-campus practice, you received your tongue blade from Coach McElvaine. Can you explain the significance of that?
EA: "After that practice, we went through the itinerary for the trip and then she took out the tongue blades and said I have one more thing that I have to do here, and handed them out. We had to smile about it, we were not allowed to cry about it. It was an emotional thing."
GoHuskies: Can you explain the significance of the tongue blades?
EA: "Every day you push your tongue blade in and that is how you say you are at practice. I touch it everyday and it is part of my daily routine. If you have special achievements throughout the year like winning a ham-n-egger race or doing the most bench pulls you get a colored star. The stars are color coded for different things. You get stars on you tongue blade and it is kind of a proud moment when you get that. Getting your tongue blade, that means you are done. And mine was cracked, I thought that Eleanor tried to break mine in the beginning of the year but she said that she didn't."
GoHuskies: "What are you majoring in?
EA: "I am an art major with a minor in architecture with an emphasis in photography in my art major. I am graduating on June 10th."
GoHuskies: What are your plans for the near future?
EA: "I will be moving on June 20th to Princeton, New Jersey actually and living there pursuing photography. I chose Princeton because that is where (former rower) Sam Burns lives."
GoHuskies: Where do you see yourself in five or 10 years?
EA: "Back in Seattle, definitely this is where I want to end up. But I think that it will be interesting to live somewhere else since I was born and raised here. That is kind of the reason why I chose Princeton, to get a different feel of the country. When I get back to Seattle, someday I would like to start my own photography business, but that will cost a lot of money. I'll see where that takes me."