One Step Closer to National Title

June 3, 2004

The Cal Golden Bears are currently in New Jersey, competing in the IRA National Championships. The freshman eight is seeded No. 2, behind Harvard and is hungry to upset the Crimson to win its first national title since 2000.

Eric Hand is the bowman for the No. 2 freshman eight. He has helped the Bears compile an undefeated record (through competition today at the IRAs), a Pac-10 title and wins at the San Diego Crew Classic and Windermere Crew Classic.

Nickname: Undertaker, Iceman.

Position: Bow seat.

Favorite Movie: Toy Story, The Blues Brothers, Ghostbusters, The Last Waltz.

TV show: Conan O'Brien.

Athlete: David Cone.

Sport to play (other than crew): Baseball.

Sport to watch (on TV or in person): Baseball.

Food: Buffalo wings.

Band/Artist: Pearl Jam, Gov't Mule, Led Zeppelin, U2.

Q: How did you get involved in crew?

A: I came to Cal not expecting to play any sport but thought I would try-out for baseball and hope for the best. When the baseball coach informed me that they were not taking any walk-ons my aunt (who rows competitively) contacted Coach Bond and told me I should go and talk to him and see how I liked it. Coach Bond was very receptive despite my lack of experience and what turned into an experiment soon turned into a daily passion.

Q: Why did you choose to come to Cal?

A: I was really set on going to school in California. I chose Cal over other schools due to its reputation, campus and everything that the Bay Area has to offer. The vicinity to San Francisco gave it a great edge over other California schools. I also am an Architecture major and Berkeley's program is one of the best out there.

Q: At the beginning of the season, what is the one thing you most look forward to? What is the thing you dread the most?

A: Well, having never done crew before I looked forward to everything since it was all new and exciting to me. Now, approaching the end of my first season and thinking about my second, I dread the endless hours on the erg, lack of off days, and repetitiveness

Q: What is your pre-race routine/superstition?

A: I try to be very focused and serious. I'm very superstitious so it's important that I do all the same things. I always have my iPod and listen to the same sequence of songs once we get to the racecourse and are waiting to go on the water... Gov't Mule covering Lynyrd Skynyrd's Simple Man and Gov't Mule's version of Look Over Yonder Wall.

Q: What are the last 3 CD's you bought?

A: Sonny Landreth (The Road We're On), Robert Randolph and the Family Band (Unclassified and Live from the Wetlands), and Buddy and Julie Miller (Buddy and Julie Miller).

Q: If you were stranded on a desert island, who would you bring with you, and what 3 things would you want to take?

A: I would take my girlfriend, Olivia. And the three items would be 1. my iPod 2. A deep-fryer 3. my dog Clyde.

Q: What is your greatest achievement in crew?

A: Coming in as a walk-on novice, making the freshman 8, and having an undefeated season.

Q: What do you do in your spare time?

A: In my spare time I enjoy going to concerts, listening to music, playing baseball, eating, running, working on my model trains, and playing drums or guitar.

Q: If you could trade places with anyone (celebrity or not) who would it be? Why?

A: I would trade places with Steve Jobs (CEO of Apple and Pixar). He has the great job of running both the coolest computer company and the coolest animation studio in the world. Both companies are full of vision and innovation and seem like fun places to work. Close 2nd would be Eric Clapton....since...well...he's God.

Q: Who/what inspires you?

A: I am inspired by people who work hard for a purpose, know what they want, and go above and beyond in order to achieve it. People who are passionate about what they do and have vision are always inspiring to me and make me want to be the same.

Q: What is the one song/type of music that you think should be banned from the erg room?

A: Hip/Hop/Rap/Electronic...all the same to me...obnoxious

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