2010 NCAA Rowing Championship
May 30, 2010 | Gold River, Calif.
Virginia head coach Kevin Sauer
On his feelings after winning the NCAA team title:
“After getting married, the birth of my children and my children getting married … this is right up there! It’s unbelievable. We have worked so hard at this. It’s a great, great feeling.”
On the final race, the Varsity Eight:
“I could not stand and watch on the jumbotron, I had to get moving. So I rode a bicycle up to the start line. So I really only saw the first 1,000 and the last 300-meters. I lost them a little bit in the middle because I had to go through some woods and stuff. Really, Yale and Princeton really shot out of the start. But at least we were in third. I knew we needed to beat Stanford and Cal to win the team title, but I also wanted to see these guys win the Varsity Eight too. I knew they were in third at the 1,000 and I thought ‘okay come on you guys’. Yale was still stomping on it and Princeton was hanging right there. Then I lost them. So I was coming through the woods and I heard the announcer say ‘Virginia is in second.’ So then after passing Princeton we started charging on Yale. They did what they needed to do to win the team title and what a fantastic race.”
On the Varsity Four winning its race:
“They were a dominant crew from day one here. Associate head coach Steve Pritzker did a great job with those guys. They rowed well and they rowed hard. They set the tone. Our team would see them launching and coming down the course and just get so psyched. They really set the tone. That’s what’s cool about this final day, the Four goes first, so they started it off really well with a great race. I’m really happy for Sarah Pichardo, a senior coxswain who went out with a bang."
On the Second Varsity Eight's fourth-place finish:
“They were disappointed coming in, but it didn’t matter whether they had beaten Cal or lost to Cal because we still had to beat Stanford and Cal in the Varsity Eight. They did what they needed to do. They were in the hunt and they have come along way from the middle of April. They lost to Princeton by 13 seconds on April 17 and they beat them today. Those are the kind of performances you need to do something special like this."
On whether the feeling has sunk in yet:
"This is special feeling, it’s still peripheral, I’m not sure it’s sunk in yet. But the peripheral feels pretty good."
Virginia senior and Varsity Eight stroke Jennifer Cromwell
On her post-race feelings:
"I feel amazing right now. This is honestly a dream come true. When I committed to Virginia, I made a promise to myself that I was not leaving here without a national championship. So now it is a dream come true. My last race being a Cavalier, I can’t put into words how excited I am."
On four years of up-at-dawn workouts and long practices on the water:
I think that’s what truly drove myself and the rest of the team. We have put in the work and we have trust in each other and ourselves. All the hours and workouts were going to push us through."
On knowing they had to finish ahead of Cal and Stanford in their race:
"Being in lane 5 was going to be a challenge, because we weren’t in the middle. We cannot control what other boats are doing, but we had confidence in ourselves. We weren’t really able to see the other boats that well but we trusted our fitness and our will to get us down there. We were a second behind the first-place boat."
Virginia senior and Varsity Eight rower Desiree Burns
On the final race:
“Off the start, we knew from the beginning that we were going to be a little bit on the outside. Our coxswain (Sidney Thorsten) kept us internal and calm, because we knew that Yale and Princeton had a fast start. We knew once we got into a rhythm we would be able to move up, and that’s what we did. It felt great the entire race, all the way through. What a feeling at the end."
On winning the national championship:
"I have no words to explain how I feel. I’m ecstatic. This was the best way I could have finished my four years here. I am overwhelmed with joy."
On head coach Kevin Sauer getting his first national championship:
"I know that he is also overwhelmed with joy. He has been working towards this for years. Coming in, he told us were were capable of doing this. And he pushed us every day. I think he is the best coach out here and I’m sure he is overwhelmed."
Virginia senior and Varsity Four coxswain Sarah Pichardo
On finishing the year undefeated:
“It’s one of those things, I realized it the other day that we hadn’t lost a race all year. But as you’re doing it you don’t really realize it. During practice we are always pushed and there is so much competition within the team. We push each other every day."
On the chemistry of the Varsity Four:
"The girls in this boat, each one of them wants it so bad. They are willing to do whatever it takes to do it. They are responsive and aggressive. If we need to make a move at the 750, we can make one. Because they are so amped up and we make it happen. That’s been something that’s been really cool to see, having a boat that can do things like that so quickly."
On what it means to her to be the seventh-ever Virginia crew to win a national title:
"It has not sunk in yet. I think it will take a bit of time. What we did was that we made one step towards our main goal and we did a really good job with that. It’s unreal. Once we passed through I was just like ‘whoa’. I had no words. We were all just so excited. Coming and seeing our coaches and teammates. It’s a big deal after four years."