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San Diego Crew Classic
Release: 04/07/2002
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April 7, 2002

Recap

San Diego, Calif. - San Diego Crew Classic Post Race Quotes April 7, 2002

Bob Ernst (head men's coach)
"It was a fast race and Cal rowed a really, really smart race. They (Cal) have a lot of veterans in there and a lot of street smarts and they came flying down that course at 38, 39 strokes a minute. There was a little bit of a tail wind out there and that makes it a bit easier to row that high rate. We're just not ready for that right now. We tried to row it in 34, 35 and you're just going to get rowed away from in a situation like that. They are a very good crew. A margin less than five seconds, it's hard to rejoice in something like that, but it's the closest we've come to them in four years. We have seven weeks left in the racing season and we have three more shots at them.

(on the junior varsity race)
"That was a really gutsy, gutsy race. They were down by almost half a length with 300 meters to go and they ended up winning by almost half a length. That was a good gut-check for them. There's no question, Cal is going to fight us for every single stroke on every single race course where we meet them. It tends to make us better in the long run."

Jan Harville (head women's coach)
"It's a different crew each year, even though some of the members are the same. The ones who were here and lost last year, certainly it was a big motivating factor for our team the rest of the season. The ones who were on the team last year say 'we're not going to make some of the same mistakes we made last year.' We are going to go out and attack. It brought positive poise to the race today. We were aggressive and offensive in our attacks and were able to hold off the charges from Cal and Ohio State."

Jenni Vesnaver (Adelaide, Australia / five seat, women's varsity eight)
"We had a lead the whole way and in the last 500-meters, we really just wanted to do it for ourselves. It's our first race of the season and we wanted to set a good stage to go off of the rest of the way. Our heads were all in the boat and we all pulled for each other, to see what we could do.

"It felt like we were flying today. The speed was amazing. We were expecting a dog fight out there. We respect the competition and we know there is a lot of speed out there. All the competition is fast. We wanted to get out there and set the tone for the rest of the season."

Jonathan Burns (Vancouver, Wash. / bow seat, men's varsity eight)
"We know we have a lot of speed to gain. It was a fast race. Cal just outpaced us. They were out at 37 or 38 and we were out at 35. On a tail wind course, that makes all the difference. It's a huge difference. This race tells us where we are. We have a lot of speed to gain. This definitely isn't the end of the year. Bob always says, 'what matters is June 1.' It would have been nice to win it, but it gives us something to work on."

Erin Curry (Encinitas, Calif. / four seat, women's junior varsity eight)
"The race was really good. We had a quick pickup at the start. The water was a little rough at the beginning, but as soon as we felt it, we went long and stuck with it. We fought for every stroke and that was our goal. It was a fight to the very end. We kept that in our minds the whole time. Virginia was a really strong competitor. They took a seat, we took a seat. Our 20s were really strong. We hit all of our steps on our sprint. It was a solid race. It was really good. All you want to do is smile."

Charles Minnett (Stratford, Ontario, Canada / two seat, men's junior varsity eight)
"With about 500-meters left, we decided to go, as we are coached to do. We put together a really good sprint to get through Cal. They moved out on us and we wanted to keep within striking distance. Once we realized they had stopped moving, we put the hammer down and systematically took a few seats. Once we got through two or three seats, we just went off the momentum and rolled right through them. Once you have that momentum going, all the tiredness just flushes out of you, all the fatigue goes and it's pure adrenaline from there. It's pretty exciting."

Peter Dembicki (West Vancouver, B.C. / six seat, men's junior varsity eight)
(on the final sprint) "The last call Chris (O'Brien, coxswain) made before we went was that we were three seats down. The next call he made we were two seats up. Everyone had their head in the boat, ready to go. We came out on top."

John Heylin (Canyon, Calif. / two seat, freshman men's eight)
"We had a good start. We didn't want to go too hard because we were worried we might not have enough at the end. We were moving but we reserved some energy. We took a couple strokes to relax, about a minute in, and by then we were about a length up. I was a little worried that maybe Cal was holding a little something back so they could sprint at the 1,000. We hung on though and took our power strokes through the piece and held them off. They (Cal) tried to walk back at the 1,000, they took a seat or two back. They went from about two seats open to bow to stern deck to us. We took a couple more power strokes, opened up some water. By the time we crossed the finish line we were rowing a 38.

"When we crossed the finish line it felt awesome. It's unbelievable. We've heard so much about Cal's guys being the top recruits in the country. Fred (Honebein - freshman coach) took a lot of pressure off of us. He told us just to row our best race and he would be happy. It doesn't matter if you win or lose. If you lose, we know there is something we have to work on, but as long as you go out there and give 110 percent, it's going to be alright. That took a lot of pressure off. We weren't really that nervous."

Nicole Younker (Spokane, Wash. / three seat, women's novice eight)
"It felt really good today. All things considered - it was me falling off the seat yesterday - we got it together. Granted, we got second but it was a good race. We came together as a team. We know that when they (Washington State) comes to our home turf, we're going to show them how it's done. That's our plan."

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