May 30, 2008
POST RACE QUOTES
Bob Ernst, Head Coach
"Today was great. The kids are really focused in on what they need to do here. They trained really hard in the last week to make a statement that they're not just participants here, they're here to row and to win. It's fun.
"People have been asking me how we got here. We have a great team. This is a team deal. If we do well tomorrow then it's going to be interesting."
On the varsity eight:
"They did what they needed to do. This is the first time this combination has raced together and I told them that they needed to race like they had to win it. And they tried to win it. They kind of lost focus a little bit in the third 500, probably because they were up and maybe they didn't expect to be. Now, the challenge for them tomorrow is they have to row the semifinal like they intend to win it. They have to try to win it to make it to the final. It's one day at a time now. The good news is we're not racing again here this afternoon."
Are the crews that had to race again in Friday afternoon's repechage at a disadvantage?
"Let's put it this way, it certainly doesn't do them any good. We're going to come out here and paddle around for 40 minutes this afternoon while some other crews will come out here and race for their lives this afternoon."
On the second varsity eight:
"They had a little bit of a slow start. Actually, I think it will benefit them to row in the reps tomorrow. They realize that they have to row that to win, too. Then they get in the final and see what happens. This is very normal for our crews, whether it's the IRA or here. As long as they keep positive attitudes and keep getting better every race, that's exactly what we want. It's good that they did well for having first-time out lineups. It will be really good for them to have another race tomorrow and do well and get ready for the finals."
On the varsity four:
"It was a great way to end the first day, with the fours winning their heat. Our four is basically, except for the coxswain, the same crew that's raced together all year and won the Pac-10. Those kids did great."
Isabelle Woodward, Varsity Eight Coxswain
"We had a really good start and that's going to give us a lot of confidence going into the next round. We got up early, and that's really good, and we just need to work on that middle section. We were getting a little bit tired and maybe a little bit unsettled since we were up. We really need to just work on that for tomorrow.
"I have been in the four all season. It definitely is very different from being in the eights. In terms of nerves, I know we had the tools to go out and do it. I'm more nervous on land. Once we get out on the water, I'm pretty comfortable.
"Definitely, we wanted to get up early. The first 35 strokes are really important and we got up early and did what we needed to do there. We were really happy with that."
How vital was it to avoid having to row again Friday, in the afternoon repechage?
"It's so important in terms of energy. It's draining to have to do a whole extra race. It's really important to stay out of that and we did that, which is good. I think it will give us a little bit of extra energy going into the final."
Kara Farquharson, Varsity Eight Stroke
"We put in a lot of work between Pac-10s and now and we are a lot more focused and ready to go. It's always the plan to try and get first. We wanted to have the best race we could today."
On the changes to the crew since the Pac-10s, including new coxswain Isabelle Woodward:
"Heather (Young) and I were the stern pair in San Diego. We've done so many lineup changes throughout the year that I think we're pretty versatile. Isabelle's done a great job. She coxed the jayvee for a while this year and a lot of the girls had here then. She really doing a great job."
Alysha Koorji, Second Varsity Eight Coxswain
"We had sort of rough first 750 and then we found our rhythm right then and just got out of there. It was a really good race, a fight all the way down. No one ever got scrambled or freaked out at all, which is good. We just have to be better at finding our rhythm in the first 750 than we did this morning.
"Brown was up, Wisconsin was up and Virginia and Washington were going back-and-forth, back-and-forth. Then we got a little bit of momentum and just like walked through the field approaching the 1,000-meter mark. We should be able to carry that over tomorrow. There's a lot of fight left, a lot of energy."
Kim Armstrong, Second Varsity Eight No. 2 seat
"It was a great heat to build on. We didn't necessarily have the greatest first 750, but our heads stayed in the race and we kept pressing throughout the entire 2,000 meters. We're really excited. We're going to build on what we learned from today and bring it all tomorrow.
"We have specific moves down the course and Alysha makes designated calls for us. I think it's just a factor of everyone putting their heads together and moving together. It takes all eight of us to go.
"It is a new lineup, but we've been practicing with these girls all year. I'm just really excited that we were able to keep our heads in the race and just continue to move on everyone.
"The morale is really high. We are excited and grateful at the opportunity to come to nationals, so we're here to show them why they gave us a bid."
Rachel Powers, Varsity Four Stroke
"It felt great. I'm really happy with how we did. It felt really fluid coming down the course. We've really been trying to relax and keep it smooth the whole way down and I think we accomplished that this time. We're totally ready to go for the next race.
"We had a pretty good start. For the first part we were even with Yale and then after we settled we just starting pushing away. Our coach, Colin (Sykes) kind of put the pressure on us this morning. He stressed how important it was that we got first in this heat so we could go straight to the finals and not have to race tomorrow. It feels good to be able to kind of relax for a day and know that we're going to come out here and get another practice and just kind of get geared up for the next race.
"Since these are a lot of boats that we haven't raced before, from the East Coast and Midwest, we're really ready for anything. It give us a good perspective on things. I feel like if it was against boats that we had raced before and that we had beaten before we might get a little bit overconfident about things."
Maggie Cheek, Varsity Four Coxswain
"We were super relaxed at the starting line. We were going in to win the heat and we just did exactly what we needed to do. In the first 20 strokes we were on the bow ball and I couldn't see any of the crews from probably 500 meters down. I couldn't see any other crews for the rest of the race.
"We know what we need to do for Sunday. We need to have a stronger third 500 and a stronger sprint. We know that.
"It's a really good advantage to not have to race Saturday. I've never been in this position before, but it's definitely nice to just relax. We have one less race to worry about. All we have to focus on is the final and all the other crews have to focus on getting into the finals.
"I just got into this boat and it is an undefeated crew that won the Pac-10 championship. I think it took this race and after this race to feel really comfortable in there with them."