IRA MEN'S ROWING CHAMPIONSHIPS
Thursday, June 3, 2004
Cooper River; Camden, N.J.
Men's Head Coach Bob Ernst
"That was the only objective this morning, to get there first so we wouldn't have to come out here and row in the repechage this afternoon. So, mission accomplished. In the varsity and jayvee races, they are seeded so you pretty much know who you are going to have to beat to get it done. The fours are a little bit more of a crap shoot. They have to stay on their game. The issue here is, you want to win, but you don't want to expend any more energy than you have to. There are some tactics and the coxswains really have to be on their game. It's really important to get through that first race. We've been training for three weeks since we had the Pac-10s and guys are anxious to go. All these kids out here are racehorses and they want to go."
Varsity Eight Coxswain Greg King
"The race plan is to be prepared to go the whole way, the full 2,000 meters. Wisconsin is a good crew and Yale gave us quite a fight so it's good that we went the whole way. We got out to a good lead and just held it. We actually kept walking away during the course of the race, just inching away. We took our moves as planned and then started our sprint a little later than usual just to hold them off."
Varsity Eight No. 7 Seat Scott Schmidt
"We've been training since Pac-10s so it's definitely been a lot of intensity and focus. You could tell that our unspoken intensity and desire to race increased throughout this week. It starts out like a little fireball inside you and just keeps building and building and building. Then we get here and now we race. We just got our first race out of our system. We did what we had to do. We just rowed our own race. We didn't know if we were going to start out ahead or behind. We were fortunate to get out ahead then we lengthened out and tried to stay long and swing down the racecourse. We answered any calls the other crews made. We're going to need to pick up the intensity and build speed throughout the regatta. That's what all the best crews do, they pick up speed and learn from each race. They learn how to handle the course and the wind. Hopefully within the next one or two races we'll pick up the most speed we can for the finals."
Junior Varsity Eight Coxswain Chris O'Brien
"We were up about two seats at the start and we kind of waited on it a little bit to make our move. We traded some seats back, but we never were down. We were waiting for that halfway mark and that's when we took care of it with our move. The first plan is just to win the race and that's what we did. It's definitely good to get that first race out of your system and get the butterflies gone."
Junior Varsity No. 2 Seat Nick Hudson
"This is really good for us to match ourselves against the East Coast speed and see where we are in the whole nation. We don't really know going into this race how good the East Coast schools are. It's nice to get it done and look forward to tomorrow. We raced hard and they were racing hard. They were a couple beats higher than us. We were just feeling each other out and then we put it down. It felt pretty good. It's huge to win the heat and not have to row in the reps. Now we can go relax, come back for a nice paddle row and be real fresh. Everyone else has got to come back out here and race, theoretically, even harder than they did in the heats because it's do-or-die at that point."
Varsity Four Coxswain Adrian Andrews
"Off the start we were dead even with all the crews. At about the 500 were were up maybe two seats. Through the 1,000 we were back a half seat and then we took a move and we got back up about a seat. It was just a seat difference all the way down to the finish. It was a close and quick race. We haven't seen any of these fours. You just have to go in and execute what you know how to do. They came dead even for a few strokes in the second half of the race. It was a battle all the way through. It's pretty important to win the heat so you don't have to race in the afternoon. If you win your heat you can rest up for the afternoon and kind of relax."
Varsity Four Stroke Seth Berling
"We came into the race not knowing who was going to be fast. For all we know one, two and three could be in our heat. We went out there with a game plan that we didn't want to race this afternoon. We raced wire-to-wire and got the job done. To be honest, we knew there was going to be somebody with us, we just weren't sure who it would be. Once we got out, we tried to maintain our composure. We've got some really solid guys in our boat. Going into the last 250 we were half a seat up. We've been improving our sprint recently so we all knew that we had it in us to bust out the lead. It's a good feeling to get the first race out of the way. There are a lot of nerves going into the first race and you kind of get some relaxation after the first race is done. You get your heads in it and go into the second race with a little more composure than you did the first one."