May 30, 2002
Chris Hawkins (varsity eight, two seat; senior; Seattle, Wash.)
"There was a lot of tension and energy building up. It was really great to get out there and finally race. You have a week of preparation and you start going stir crazy. This is huge for me because it's my last weekend of racing for Washington. This is it. Our program focuses on this all year, from the first day of practice. It's nice to finally get here. It's the big time."
(will you be disappointed with anything less than a win Saturday). "Yes. You shouldn't be satisfied with anything but your best and our best, I think, is the best in the country. I believe that."
"There were definitely some nerves we had to get through. We almost killed a family of geese at the start. That was a little bit crazy. We rowed really well. We had a good race. Penn was a tough opponent. They were the ones who stuck with us the whole way down. It gave us a chance to concentrate on rowing together, rowing well and executing our race plan."
(anything you need improve on in the next two days?): "Nothing really has to change. It's just staying with the fundamentals that we do well, things like length and quickness, staying together.
(on the hot weather): "It's tough. It's definitely not Seattle. We knowing come in here, it's going to be rough. The humidity always make it worse. We have to stay hydrated and keep out of the sun as much as possible.
Ryan Marks (varsity eight coxswain; junior; Dartmouth, Mass.)
"One of the biggest factors in this race is that it was the first time we faced an unknown opponent, since the Wisconsin dual back in April. We had no idea what to expect from Penn. We saw the results from Eastern Sprints but that's all we had to go off. That's really good practice, not knowing what their race strategy is, not knowing when they are going to take their moves. You just have to go all out, all the way down the race course. That's what we did. They hung with us pretty early. We didn't start consistently move away until about the 600 or 700-meter mark. Once we got about a length on them, we were hoping that would convince them to ease off a bit. Only the first crew advances, but they wouldn't let us go at all. We tried to drop the rate down and as soon as we did that, they started moving in on us. I was tempted to yell over to their coxswain, 'what are you doing? It's going to be better for both of us if you just ease off.' Now they have another race to row this afternoon."
"We dropped it down to about 35 at the halfway point, from our base at 37. We ended up crossing the line at 32, so we didn't go 100 percent all the way down, but they didn't give us an easy race at all."
"Saturday, you've got to get the lead right away. Any time a crew moves on you, you have to respond. You can't let them take a seat without taking it right back. Today, we let Penn come into us a little bit because we didn't want to burn all our energy. We wanted to save a little bit. But there is nothing to save on Saturday. You put it all on the line and make sure you are absolutely on empty when you cross the finish line."
Bob Ernst (head coach)
"We are exactly where we wanted to be at the end of the first day. All the crews are qualified for the semi-finals Friday and the jayvees got themselves into the final for Saturday. They (the jayvees) had a heck of a row today. That was one of the best races out here all day."
"We knew Cornell would be tough for the junior varsity. We aren't really into Knute Rockne speeches. I told them they would have to take this one all the way to the finish line to get qualified. You would rather do that than row the reps Friday. They also wanted to let the guys out here (on the east coast) that we may be the second best in the Pac-10, but we're fast."
"Today is just qualifying. Just win. That's all you need to do. You don't need to set a course record. You don't need to win by a lot. All you need to do is win and that's what we did."
Chris O'Brien (junior varsity coxswain; sophomore; Cincinnati, Ohio)
"My main focus was to keep the guys relaxed, keep them in their groove, the whole way down. I told the guys what they needed to hear. We knew we could take it. We just stepped it up that last 500-meters and put it in gear. Cornell is going to be tired on Saturday and we are going to be relaxing tomorrow afternoon. It's a good mental boost. It frees the mind for a day.
"We just stepped it up that last 500-meters and put it in gear. We knew it was going to be a race all the way to the finish line. We knew what we had to do. I knew we were up a seat, but you can never tell. I told the guys we had it, but I didn't tell them I wasn't sure."