IRA Men's Rowing Championships
Day 1 -- Thursday, June 1, 2006
Cooper River; Cherry Hill, N.J.
Washington Head Coach
"I thought the varsity had a good row today. It's interesting to see California again. There was no way either one of those crews was going to say `Uncle,' and give the other one a break today. That's good to see. They're both going fast. Washington and Cal are never going to ease off and let the other one win. That's not the nature of the rivalry. We'll see how it stacks up in the semifinals Friday. We don't know that we'll see Cal again in the semifinal. Everybody looks fast out here, so there is going to be some great racing tomorrow again.
"I don't think they care who we race. It doesn't matter. We're here to race and we've got to try to win Friday and if you don't win you have to try to finish in the top three so you get to the final. This is the culmination of the whole season and everybody is racing their guts out.
"The freshman had a really nice row today. The jayvees struggled a little bit today, but that's not unusual for us because we changed the crews around a little bit and those guys just haven't found their rhythm yet. But, they get another chance tomorrow and I think they'll be able to make the final."
Varsity Eight No. 6 Seat
"It was really good. We knew we picked up some speed, but we didn't know how much. By the end it all came down to a really good race. We're excited. We think we can just go on from here.
"We all assume that Cal is the fastest team right now. Racing them gives us a good picture and puts us in a good perspective of where we are. I'm really glad we raced them. It's always nice to race them, even on the other coast. There wasn't that much effort in the start as much as there was unity. We were all going together. We raced this race as a final. It's always nice to maybe win it, so at one point we went after it and tried to get it."
Varsity Eight No. 5 Seat
"We definitely kind of surprised ourselves out there. We had a pretty good start and settled right into our rhythm. We relaxed the whole race. Our goal was to qualify for the semifinal and avoid the repechage in the afternoon. We got our goal and we gave Cal a pretty good scare. It was one of the best races I've ever had as a Husky. We changed our lineup around and did a little shuffle. It's really working. The last two weeks we've been gaining speed every time we are on the water. We're gaining a little more speed here and there and it's just all adding up right now. We kind of exploded today on the water and it felt great.
"It was good to race Cal. We're used to racing them. We know what they're going to do and they know what we're going to do. But this time it was a bit different and the results showed that this morning. We're kind of used to being the underdog. They say it's an East Coast bias and the West Coast schools always get the lower rankings. But come race day, the rankings don't matter. Once you take that first stroke on the starting line, it's everyone's game."
Second Varsity Eight Coxswain
"We kind of just didn't nail our rhythm we were looking for. It was a little bit high. We didn't get our length or our acceleration. But, we we've seen what they've got now. We have a different crew than at Pac-10s. It helps to get a race behind us. Now we've had a full 2,000-meter race, rowing down with these guys. We know exactly how everybody reacts to where people are and we know how we react to our own moves. Now we've got two more chances."
Freshman Eight Coxswain
"It definitely could have been better. I think the guys have been distracted for the past week and we're trying to get it back. When we go off the start and we don't have as good a start as we should, we kind of freak out. It's more about what can we do to make it better in the next few strokes. It's definitely great to win the heat without having our best race. It's the heats and we still have the semis before the final to tweak it. It's really important to get through one race for our boat, especially with the warm-up pattern and all the other boats. There are other schools and people see friends, so it's easy to get distracted."
Open Four No. 3 Seat
"We came out and just wanted to stay relaxed and really focus on that first 500. I think we did an alright job. We came out a little frantic, being the first race of the regatta. We have a couple freshmen in the boat, so it was a big race for them. We were able to get it done and we put a pretty good race together. We were a little frantic throughout, but we got the first-place finish so we'll be in the finals. We're in a good position. I think we have some more boat speed in there.
"We've had to make a lot of changes since the Pac-10s. We put two freshmen in the boat and we actually switched out our coxswain for another freshman. So, there was some uncertainty coming out here. We never really had any real races with this boat, so we didn't know quite how fast we were. The way we performed in the heat is reassuring. We realize we added some boat speed and we're competitive with the rest of the field. We're going to have a practice Friday and we'll hopefully figure some more stuff out and just really get ready for this final."