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No. 13 WSU battles bitter rival UW in Seattle

Cougars will race top-ranked team for second straight week

Cougars+finished+fourth+in+both+the+second+varsity+eight+and+varsity+four+at+the+San+Diego+Crew+Classic+on+Sunday.
Cougars finished fourth in both the second varsity eight and varsity four at the San Diego Crew Classic on Sunday.

Cougars finished fourth in both the second varsity eight and varsity four at the San Diego Crew Classic on Sunday.

COURTESY OF WSU ATHLETIC COMMUNICATIONS

COURTESY OF WSU ATHLETIC COMMUNICATIONS

Cougars finished fourth in both the second varsity eight and varsity four at the San Diego Crew Classic on Sunday.

JACKSON GARDNER, Evergreen reporter

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WSU rowing will have its hands full with another weekend of tough competition when they race against University of Washington on Saturday.

The Cougars are coming off a weekend of competing in the San Diego Crew Classic that was chock-full of top-25 programs, including University of California, Berkeley, and University of Texas.

This weekend the task gets taller, but all of it has Head Coach Jane LaRiviere eager to get her team’s oars in the water.

“I think it’s pretty exciting if you think about who we raced this weekend and who we raced last weekend,” LaRiviere said. “I think you can make a pretty good argument for Cal-Washington, Washington-Cal being the top two teams in the country right now. So I think on back-to-back weekends we get to test ourselves against the very best.”

LaRiviere hit the nail on the head with her prediction. The latest USRowing/Collegiate Rowing Coaches Association poll is out and University of Washington and University of California, Berkeley, placed first and second respectively. WSU came in at 13th, two spots higher than they were at this time a year ago.

The Cougars don’t shy away from the constant grind of the Pac-12. In fact, LaRiviere said she embraces how the competition prepares her team for the tough races it will encounter later in the season.

“We don’t really have anything to lose,” LaRiviere said. “We just want to try . . . [to] really bring it, just go for it and see how we stack up. There’s no gimmes in the Pac-12. You have to be ready every single weekend.”

For the Huskies, this will be their first competition of the spring, with the exception of their inter-squad class day race. UW comes into 2018 as the defending NCAA champions, after sweeping the field and taking first in all three competitions.

The Montlake Cut on Saturday will host five Apple Cup races, where the Cougars will line up against the Huskies one-on-one.

The novice eight is scheduled to start at 9:15 a.m., followed by the third varsity eight, the first varsity four, the second varsity eight and finally the first varsity eight. All of the races can be seen on Pac-12 Network’s Washington Live Stream 3.

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No. 13 WSU battles bitter rival UW in Seattle