Post-Race Quotes: 41st San Diego Crew Classic

    April 6, 2014



    ZENON BABRAJ, Head Coach

    On meeting expectations and his team’s performance in the regatta
    “I’m very pleased with what we did today. In the first eight, we had a very clear plan of what we wanted to do in the race and they went out there and executed it 100-percent, so it was very satisfying. I felt that the boat has gotten more and more confident and they executed the plan and that’s why we won the race. In the second boat, we had some mistakes and in a tight race, it doesn’t take much to make a difference. I believe that boat is a good group and they will get back on track. Our varsity four was the nicest surprise of the day. It wasn’t that we didn’t expect them to win, but we’ve always felt that this boat has the most room for improvement and today, they showed just how much they have improved. They were dominating and controlling the race even though we have some very young athletes in the lineup. Today, they raced with a lot of maturity and that was very satisfying.”

    On what his crew has learned from facing the field at the Crew Classic
    “I think what we learned here was the most important part of the weekend. We knew Washington was going to be good, but in the end, it came down to how we were going to execute our race. I think we are among the top crews in the country. After next weekend, we will know a lot more because I think that Cal has one of the fastest eights in the country based on who they have in the boat. Following today’s performances, I think we can compete with the top echelon of crews in the country, but I think we’ll know more very soon and see how everything plays out.”


    On the varsity four's expectations heading into the regatta
    “I think we always have the highest expectations of ourselves and today was really a test to see what we could do with what we’ve got regardless of what other crews were doing around us. It was nice to see what kind of speed we have even though we still have a long way to go this season. I think we can only improve from here.”



    On executing the race plan and coming out on top
    “For us, we have a pretty simple race plan and Kaelyn [Ibold] is pretty good at executing it. She is very good at listening to other coxswains’ calls and responding to them even if she can’t see them. It was fun and we’re still testing to see what we can do. It’s exciting to see how we respond when we get pushed. Kaelyn is great and a very important part of our boat so we’re very excited that she’s here with us.”


    On meeting expectations and defending the Jessop-Whittier Cup
    “We came in with little to no expectations, so that we wouldn’t put any added pressure on ourselves. We did want to bring all the trophies back to the boathouse with us, though. At the end of the regatta, we are extremely happy with the results. We have nothing to complain about at all.”

    On how the Trojans stack up against the best crews in the country
    “We’re very confident about the way we stack up just because we found a rhythm in our boat today. Now that we’ve found our rhythm, we feel like we can take on any other crew in the country. Regardless of our times and their times, what’s important is that we found ourselves here and that’s all that matters.”

    On the varsity eight race plan
    “I though Paige [Fernandes] did a phenomenal job today. She stepped up and we’re all so proud of her. She executed the plan just like we had hoped. When we got out of the boat after the race, you could tell how happy coach [Babraj] was and that was because we knew what we had to do and we did it; we did it extremely well.”