Cougar Crew prepares for Head of Snake

WSU oarsmen train for what they believe will be a difficult race, weather presents a challenge


EZEKIEL NELSON | Daily Evergreen file

WSU Men’s Crew varsity members mix with the novice rowers to teach them during an evening practice on the Snake River. The team will return to the Snake River on Friday.

JACKSON GARDNER, Evergreen reporter

It has been an all-hands-on-deck start to the season for Cougar Crew in 2017.

The WSU oarsmen were required to familiarize themselves with Head Coach Peter Brevick just 10 weeks before they would be racing.

This season is the first time some of the Cougar rowers have ever been in a shell, let alone compete against a varsity team like Gonzaga.

At first glance, it might seem as if Cougar Crew has entered dangerous waters, but Brevick along with the team’s leadership, have been able to keep the stress down in the first 10 weeks.

The Cougs have been able to take their progression one day at a time. Brevick related the fall racing season to spring football by saying, “there’s a lot of work, and not a lot of flash.”

WSU was required to label one boat the “first varsity eight,” and the other the “second varsity eight,” in the Head of the Spokane. But Brevick opted to spread his talent out across both boats.

“The beating for the Head of the Spokane was mostly based off of team qualities that we want to exhibit,” he said. “The boating for the Head of the Snake and Head of the Lake will be more based on performance so we will have a more traditional one [varsity] and two [varsity].”

The only home race for WSU in the fall racing season is scheduled for Friday. But ultimately, the fate of the race comes down to whether the elements will permit it.

Friday’s forecast predicts light showers in the morning with wind speeds as high as 23 mph, according to KHQ Weather. The Cougars will be forced out of racing if the weather conditions are too strong.

Brevick is still optimistic the race will go forward, though. Typically, if the water starts to white cap, a race will be canceled, but the Snake River is a little different, he said with a chuckle.

Both Brevick and junior oarsman Devon McCornack agreed that the Snake River is a unique venue for a race.

“The Snake is kind of unlike any other place for rowing, it is flat glass one minute and white caps another minute,” McCornack said. “Throughout this week, our practices have been in pretty rough water, and it’s projected to be rough on Friday. I like to think it’s an advantage for us.”

With Friday’s race still up in the air, the 15th annual Head of the Lake start time is still to be determined.