April 30, 2013
Virginia rowing senior co-captain Betsy Nilan (Milford, Conn.) recently sat down with VirginiaSports.com to talk about the pressure on the team to repeat as national champions, her plans after UVa and more.
Question: What are your overall thoughts on the team's success this year?
Nilan: After San Diego, we came back and we knew what we had to do. We knew we had to change things and had to move forward. We know we aren't ranked No. 1 right now and we know the target isn't on us; it's probably on other schools. We're trying to figure out where to get that speed in the next month and I really think the coaches have come together, come up with a good solution for that and I feel everyone is on board. Everyone is going to do what they can to compete for that national title, so it's really encouraging when we don't win a race and we are able to come together and still be so hungry to win. Our saying right now is, `Everyday, let's go to the hurt locker.' During our race our coxswain made a call and it was `we're entering the hurt locker right now so go for it.' We ended up winning that race, which felt so good. I feel like that's our attitude right now, it doesn't matter how we feel in the next month, beat us up and we'll do whatever it takes.
Question: Do you think winning the NCAA title last year adds pressure on this year's team?
Nilan: I think it does. A lot of other people think it gives us extra pressure than it actually does. It means that we have to step up, because we know people are watching us. That's a little challenging, but we have to try and stay within in our team and do what we have to do without thinking about other people's judgments.
Question: How would you describe your four years at UVa?
Nilan: I love racing. Coming together on race day just means everything and all of my hard work is finally paying off. This year was the first year I was able to race in an NCAA boat. I raced in the 2V8 (Second Varsity Eight) in the fall and now V4 (Varsity Four) in the spring, so the pressure's on, as I want to graduate rowing at an NCAA championship. Things can change, but I'm so determined that I think I will be able to make it happen.
Question: How has it been having your younger sister (Mary) on the team?
Nilan: It's been so great. I cannot imagine a life without my sister here to be honest. She's my best friend and in my second year when she came here it was just so fun. It's actually going to be really sad next year when we're not together for the first time since I went away to college that one year she was home.
Question: What has been your favorite class at UVa?
Nilan: I'm taking a women's gender studies independent study and my topic is `Health Care, Women in Poverty, and their Access to Affordable Health Care.' I've been reading books, doing research and now I'm about to go out into Charlottesville and do some field work, but it's really interesting. I'm really interested in women's rights and unfortunately; I just figured that out this year, so I'm sad that I'm actually leaving.
Question: What is next for you after UVa?
Nilan: I was just accepted into the UK Fellows program, so I will be moving to England in early September to teach geography and coach rowing at Bryanston Boarding School in Dorset, England.
Question: What is the biggest that you have learned from the Virginia coaching staff that you will teach young rowers in England?
Nilan: Definitely attitudes. One thing Coach (Kevin) Sauer is really good about is that rowing is a passion and you're supposed to have many passions in life, but rowing is only one of them. Family, faith and school are a few examples. Yes, rowing is important, and sometimes I've caught myself putting rowing before other things in my life, but you have to manage your priorities. It just takes the pressure off when he says rowing isn't the most important thing in your life. I think bringing that to Bryanston and not being all about pulling down that split time, but being a good person and well rounded is just as important.
Harris' Returns Bolsters SecondaryFootball4/28/17After missing most of last season with a shoulder injury, cornerback Tim Harris figures to be a key member of Virginia's secondary this fall.Williams' UVA Journey Nearing Its EndMen's Lacrosse4/26/17One game remains in the college career of attackman Zed Williams, who'll graduate from UVA next month with a bachelor's degree in drama.Afamefuna Thriving in New RoleMen's Soccer4/24/17After making the ACC's All-Freshman team as a defender last fall, Virginia's Robin Afamefuna is looking to contribute more at the attacking end this year.
Director of News Content
A 1985 graduate of UVA, White worked at the Richmond Times-Dispatch until July 2009. He was honored six times as the state's Sportswriter of the Year.
No. 12 Cavaliers Host No. 3 Texas on Saturday
W. Rowing | 4/28/2017
he No. 12 Virginia rowing team concludes regular season action with a home regatta against No. 3 ...
No. 10 Cavaliers Place Fifth at Clemson Invite
W. Rowing | 4/23/2017
The No. 10 Virginia rowing team placed fifth overall at the two-day Clemson Invitational on...
No. 10 UVA Rowers Compete at Clemson Invite on April 22-23
W. Rowing | 4/21/2017
The No. 10 Virginia rowing team returns to action at the Clemson Invitational on Saturday-Sunday ...
No. 4 Washington Blanks No. 7 UVA at Pac-12 Invite
W. Rowing | 4/2/2017
No. 4 Washington blanked No. 7 Virginia in three races at the Pac-12 Invite on Sunday (April 2)...
No. 7 Cavaliers Complete Day One Action at the Pac-12 Invite
W. Rowing | 4/1/2017
The No. 7 Virginia rowing team posted one win in six races in day one action at the Pac-12 Invite...
Pac-12 Invite Next for No. 7 UVA Rowers
W. Rowing | 3/31/2017
The No. 7 Virginia rowing team returns to action at the highly-competitive Pac-12 Invite on...
UVA Wins Three Races at Oak Ridge Cardinal Invite
W. Rowing | 03/12/2017
The Virginia rowing team won three of six races on day two of the Oak Ridge Cardinal Invitational...
UVA Wins 11 of 12 Races at Oak Ridge Cardinal Invite
W. Rowing | 03/11/2017
The Virginia rowing team won 11 of 12 races to open the 2017 season at Oak Ridge Cardinal...
- Online Stores