Rowing shines at Big-Ten Invitational

Cougars podium twice at event that contained 11 other schools nationally ranked

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PAIGE CAMPBELL | DAILY EVERGREEN FILE

The rowing team’s next regatta will be against Oregon State at Wawawai Landing.

DANIEL SHURR, Evergreen reporter

The WSU rowing team competed in the Big Ten Invitational this weekend and showed up when it mattered most, putting on one of their best performances of the 2021 season.

The Cougs came into the regatta ranked No. 18 in an event that featured five schools ranked in the top ten for national rankings, and six others sitting just outside with WSU.

On day one of the event on Saturday, the Cougars saw a second-place finish in all three of the afternoon races after a slow start in the three morning races.

One of those afternoon races that WSU showed improvement in was the First Varsity 8+ race, where the Cougars’ boat finished second to No. 3 Ohio State but managed to knock out No. 15 Wisconsin.

In the Second Varsity 8+ race, the Cougs once more finished a smidgen behind No. 3 Ohio State but edged out the Badgers for another second-place spot.

This happened once more in the final afternoon race, the Varsity 4+, where WSU finished second.

“We improved from the morning races,” rowing head coach Jane LaRiviere said. “Kudos to the team for rallying.”

That second-place finish in the Varsity 4+ race is how WSU ended day one of competition, but there was still a whole day left for the Cougs to improve their ranking. The second day of competition in Bethel, Ohio was a continuation of the first for WSU.

The First Varsity 8 boat recorded the seventh-fastest time in the fifteen-team race, as they finished ahead of No. 7 Alabama and No.9 Tennessee.

The Second Varsity Eight boat finished their race with a time of 6:57.026, while the Varsity 4+ boat capped off another successful day on the lake with a strong finish over a handful of top-ranked schools.

On the final day of competition on Harsha Lake, each race consisted of fifteen boats, one from each school that was invited to the regatta. WSU performed well in the face of pressure and showed why they are deserving of the top 20 national rankings.

With the Big Ten Invitational in the rear-view mirror, the Cougar rowing team now looks to another Pac-12 matchup, this time at home against the Oregon State Beavers on May 1.

WSU has already taken down Oregon State in Oregon this season and the team will look to have a repeat of that victory, this time on their home waters of Wawawai Landing.