NCAA Women's Rowing Championships
Sunday, May 30, 2004
Lake Natoma; Rancho Cordova, Calif.
Women's Head Coach Eleanor McElvaine
On the Varsity Eight Crew
"The other crews were able to scare us a little at the end there. We were just out of gas after yesterday's race being so hard all the way down to the wire. Obviously they went out there to win it today and paid a big price to get ahead. All the competitors here are really tough. It's good company to be in. You have to respect everyone to the very last stroke. But, they were going to die before they let anyone get them. They were pretty firm in their commitment to win that race. We had practice yesterday afternoon and talked it all out there. We made the transition from being really upset with the semi to making up our minds that we were going to finish this on a positive note. They went to sleep with that in their heads and that's how they came down here today.
"The main thing's that we're getting from this experience down here is for so many of these young gals to see the level. Now, they'll listen to me a lot closer when I talk about training in the summer and the commitment that you have to have to be fit. It's not something that you can let go in the summertime and then come back and think it's going to magically happen. I think it will lend for good commitment in the summer. Also, seeing this level of rowing will make them more committed to the technical aspects of the sport. It's easy to just do the work, but to do it at a quality and a technical level, that's what you need to make the boats go faster. If you stand us next to Brown, we are just as big as they are. We probably have just as good ergometer scores. They row better. You have to have as much commitment to the technical side as you do to the other side."
On the Junior Varsity Eight Crew
"They hit it really hard and aggressive at the start. Where they had problems was after they came out of there really quick. Then, you need to settle down into a rhythm that gives you speed all the way through the middle. They just had problems getting down and finding that rhythm. It kind of showed a little bit of the youth in the boat. It's really hard to settle down and relax. They just could never get a really good rhythm, they just fought the whole way. When you don't have rhythm then it feels like eight individuals just trying to pull the boat apart and you don't go fast. It's certainly frustrating that they didn't have their best race. At the same time, we're really proud that they were in the final. Coming into this regatta, our goal was to get into the final of all the races and the jayvees did that. They are good kids and they're all coming back."
Varsity Eight Coxswain Megan Mach
"Our job as a boat today was to lift our heads and come into this race as though it were the grand final. We were not against small teams. Virginia and Harvard, those are some big guys out there too. They really pulled out next to us. We were having the same times that were in the grand final. This was one of our best races, to be able to stick it from the start all the way through. We battled the whole way down and came out on top. It was a really satisfying race, even if we are going to be ranked seventh."
Junior Varsity Eight Coxswain Katie Peyer
"Our start was pretty solid, but we just couldn't settle off of it. We settled too high so that really made the boat heavy and that's how they started walking up on us. We were all pulling our hardest, but we weren't pulling together right. We're so happy that we made it to the final at all. Our race was so great the other day that we're just happy with how we did. We're ready to come back next year because we have a young crew. All of us are going to come back next year."
Assistant Coach Sean Mulligan
On the Varsity Four Crew
"They had their best race in the final. Virginia has a really good crew and they were faster. Sometimes you feel bad if you lose, but as long as they have their best race and come off the water feeling that they did the best that they could that's all you can do. Sometimes crews are just faster than you and you can only do so much. They had a fantastic start. We changed the focus to getting quicker with the legs from the start. When we got into the base of the piece, our boat and Virginia started going out on everybody else. That just showed how hard they were going at each other with the base speed. Virginia just had a little bit more speed in the second thousand. I was really proud of them. I thought they had a great race and you can't ask too much else."
Varsity Four Coxswain Eva Anderson
"Our motto for today was 'no regrets' and we got off the water and we didn't have any. We raced our best race. There was nothing more that they could have given. There was nothing more than I could have said. We got on the racecourse and Virginia was the best. We made them work for it every stroke, we never let up on them. We're all so happy that we got second. They deserved first and we deserved second. We had our best start ever. We were ahead by a seat early and we were really stoked because that was one of our focus points, to have a faster start."
Varsity Four Bow Seat Analena Shepherd
"We knew it was our last race of the season and we had to put everything out on the line. All of us said that if we could pass out, to puke, to see spots, to not be able to move again, this would be the race. We didn't want to be able to take another stroke after the finish line. From the start through everyone dug deeper and found something inside. It was the best race we've ever had. I blacked out throughout the race. I don't even remember the race. All I know is I didn't think about the pain, I just thought about going. I don't think we could be happier. We know we did our absolute best. Virginia is awesome. I know we put up a fight against them."