March 30, 2014
ZENON BABRAJ, Head Coach
On the crew's overall performance at the Pac-12 Challenge
"It is still early in the season, but we are very pleased with our performances. After a long training camp with a lot of work done, we were very interested to see what kind of speed we had, and through these first three races, it looks like we have at least comparable speed to some of the top crews in the country."
On the individual performances of each boat
"With the varsity eight, I thought we did great against Virginia but just came up a little short (less than three seconds) to the finish line. It is encouraging though because I think if we do the right things, we can definitely make progress. The 2V8 took really improved over the course of the event and did very nice. The four is very young and includes a former novice rower in the boat, but they have the most room for improvement. Right now, ranked No. 6 in the country, I think that is about right, but we're working on improving all aspects of our racing as the season progresses."
On his lineup choices and whether that is still in consideration
"At this point of the season, unless something dramatic happens, I think we'll stick with what we have. The second boat definitely is a lineup that we like and will keep. That group really came together at the end of camp. This weekend, you could see that in first race, they were a little shaky, but by the second race, they had developed a good rhythm. By the third race, they really showed off their speed against Virginia. I think rather than chancing lineups, we're really interested in developing all three boats for their maximum speed. A major check up will come after we participate in the Lake Natoma Invitational in a couple weeks against crews like Cal, Stanford, and Brown, and so on."
On the team's focus heading into the San Diego Crew Classic
"Last year, winning all of the trophies, I think we had a different situation. We had a whole week off after completing our training camp, so we came into the Crew Classic with a different mentality. We knew some of the top crews coming and mistakes or not, we were aiming to elevate our performance. This time, we really want to go out and do well and do the best that we can. We're not going to do any special tweaking to get ready. We just want to have a good regatta and see what will come out of it."