IRA Men's Rowing Championships
Day 3 -- Saturday, June 3, 2006
Cooper River; Cherry Hill, N.J.
Washington Head Coach
"I was certainly glad to see the four and the freshman win, that was significant. I don't think the jayvees had a particularly good row today. The varsity, that was a tremendous race all the way down. You sag for a couple of strokes there and you get left behind. I'm really proud of all the guys. They certainly rose to the occasion this weekend and they had a pretty impressive outing. That varsity field was pretty good. When you figure that Yale was a semifinal winner and they finished sixth. Cal was second in a semifinal and so were we, and they won. That was a great race, six across racing all the way down."
On the five straight years of wins in four-oared events:
"It says a lot about the depth in our program. We also have some talented intern coaches, Colin (Sykes) and Dan (Shapiro) and all the guys that help out coaching. They have a good record in the fours."
On the future of Washington rowing:
"We're excited. We have a lot of young guys in the top boats. It looks like we'll have some fun in the future. The seniors did a good job this year. The last couple weeks have been very impressive. They put everything that they had into it and we had pretty significant results. We were the third-place team in the whole country. We intend to be first, but our guys did a heck of a job this weekend."
Micah Perrin Varsity Eight Coxswain
"We definitely exceeded our expectations coming into IRAs. It's kind of a weird feeling that we're stuck in because we came into IRAs and we did a lot better than we expected. And so, kind of riding that wave we came out hoping for high things today. I'm not disappointed. It was a good race and we're proud of ourselves. We came out and raced all that we have. It's good to see the youth of the boat and that we have a bright future. It's kind of the luck of the draw. Some days you have your best day, some days you don't. I'm not going to say we didn't have our best day today, but there are a lot of fast crews out there."
On the decisive part of the race:
"Right around the 1,000 is where everything kind of got separated. We did our best to pull together in the last 1,000 and we kept ahead of Yale. Brown and Harvard had a lot in them. We went after them, but they crossed the line first. We gave it all we had and that's all you can ask."
Second Varsity Eight No. 7 Seat
"We were all going for first place, going for the wire. We were up for the first couple hundred meters. The critical point definitely was a minute to two minutes in. We were pushing for first so hard and that's when the field started breaking apart. Huskies always row to win. Even though we didn't win today, I respect the fact that we were going out for first place. Even though we didn't execute to the best of our ability, I think we gave it our best effort. That's just how it is sometimes, just like in any sport. We had the tools and everyone gave the commitment. We had the fitness and we had the aggression, but we were just little off. Just being off for half an inch per stroke over 220 strokes adds up a lot."
On the impact of rowing in Friday's repechage:
"Having to row that extra race definitely takes a physical toll whether we like to think it or not. We try not to make excuses and say that was really good to have a race yesterday. But still, over the course of three days its better to have only two races than three races. Mentally, it was a good confidence-builder and a boosting stone, but at the same time it may have impeded us. The rep was one of the biggest races and such a shell shock to a lot of people who got caught up in that moment. It's really hard getting focused every race. We were geared up today and I'm so proud of everyone for going out after it."
"This is an incredible group of guys. To come out here and finish the season like this is amazing. These kids definitely deserve this. All year everything has gone right. The guys pretty much did everything that I asked them to do. They excelled at everything. They pretty much set every record that we have for freshmen, individually and as a group. After that Pac-10 race, they gained some confidence and they knew that they could come through and win this race."
On a mid-season change in the lineup:
"Our program is really built on novices. We finally put Lowell Neal, a novice, in the boat and he was really coming along. The guys didn't know what to expect, but they really gained a lot of confidence in him. As he was progressing, the boat was progressing also. Last night, we showed a video of them rowing on the first day. All of those guys are novices and they were just laughing their heads off. They couldn't believe how far we had actually come in one year."
Does beating California make the victory even more special?
"Absolutely, especially since it was us one and two. California, we respect them and they set the bar for what we want to achieve. They are our best rivals. They have a very good coach and a very good group of athletes and they bring out the best in us every day. We were thinking about them all the time and that's what got us closer and closer. In a lot of ways they helped us get to our best. Today, before we went out we didn't talk about beating them. We just talked about achieving our best race and reaching our optimum potential. And, I think we did it."
On the race plan:
"We were supposed to just get out in a nice decent rhythm. Then, at 600 meters we took a move that separated us from everyone else."
Freshman Eight No. 5 Seat
"It was a really smooth race. We worked hard for this. Today we just concentrated on our boat, executed the race plan and were smooth all the way through. Cal won the last couple years, but today we rowed a good race and are happy. We were very close at Pac-10s, but we are happy to get them this time. At Pac-10s we had some switches the week before and by the time we got there we had only four or five rows together. At Pac-10s we had a good race and then after that we just kept progressing. It was hard work and lots of focus. This was my dream. We definitely looked forward to doing this. It was the same as the semifinal yesterday, the same pace and same rhythm. Today we did our first moves a little bit earlier, at 650 instead of 750. We hit it a bit harder in the beginning, but our boat pace was on par. There was not real shift, it was pretty constant all the way through."
Open Four Coxswain
"It's excellent. I'm glad we were able to start the day really strong. I'm really excited and proud of my guys. The race plan never changed. It's always been consistent, the Washington race plan we've been practicing all year. The standard moves were very powerful today, probably some of the best moves we've taken all year, if not the best. The consistency helped us finish strong and made sure that we were right on task."
What was the key move in the race?
"We took a move for the coaches in the first 750, which was really powerful. Everybody really respects them and appreciates all the things they've done for us this year. Then we took a move for ourselves and our parents coming into the last 750. That was also a very powerful move. Both of those moves were just incredible. We have so much respect for the people around us and we're so grateful that we're able to be here."
Is that common for you to dedicate moves during races?
"Today, we just did it for the championship."
Open Four No. 2 Seat
"It was the best race we've had hands down in the four all year. Honestly, 10 minutes before the start when the downpour came we knew that it was going to be a Husky day. We got out and led from the start. It was good rowing the whole way."
On winning Washington's fifth consecutive gold medal in a four-oared event:
"There's definitely pressure when four consecutive years Washington has brought out a gold medal four. And the expectation is kind of on you, in the first race of the day, to go out there and really set the tone for Washington for the day. It also inspires a lot of confidence to know that your program has got the depth, the coaching, the athletes and the attitude to go out and get it done. Especially when you are done with the heats you can kind of see where you are. There really was no question, I thought, that we were going to be on the top."
On last week's lineup change, moving Ricky Bargreen into the bow in place of Jon Engel:
"It's always a concern to change the lineup really late, before a race. The differences between the athletes are so minute. And really, we come back here for a week and we are training twice a day over and over. Really the boat just kind of melded."