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WSU battles Zags as season winds down

Rowing will take part in final race before Pac-12 Championships

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WSU rowing glides its oars through the water in a race earlier this season.

WSU rowing glides its oars through the water in a race earlier this season.

Courtesy of WSU Athletic Communications

Courtesy of WSU Athletic Communications

WSU rowing glides its oars through the water in a race earlier this season.

JACKSON GARDNER, Evergreen reporter

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In its final regatta before the Pac-12 Championships, WSU rowing will make the quick trip north to race in a dual-meet against Gonzaga University.

The Cougar oarswomen will be on the water early Saturday morning to battle the Zags at Silver Lake in Spokane.

The dual-meet with Gonzaga will be the final tune-up before the Cougars begin their chase for a sixth consecutive appearance at the NCAA National Championships.

“It’s always great [racing against Gonzaga]. We are carrying the torch for Eastern Washington rowing,” Head Coach Jane LaRiviere said. “It’s a great tradition that we have a home-and-home with Gonzaga … they’re only an hour and 20 minutes away and it is a very easy trip to make, and they’re quality competition.”

The Cougars are coming off a weekend of no racing, but they didn’t take it easy in their first off-weekend in about two months. LaRiviere said the team intensified its training regimen over the past week and will continue the extra work leading up to Saturday.

LaRiviere has her last opportunity to experiment with lineups before configuring her crews for the Pac-12 Championships. She said she would be making changes this weekend but did not allude to how dramatic they would be. LaRiviere shook her crews up once in early April, prior to the Cougars’ dual-meet with Oregon State University.

The most notable changes saw senior Emily Morrow and freshmen Kateryna Maistrenko and Lisa Gutfleisch go from the first varsity eight to the second, and sophomore Kamila Ondrackova, junior Jess Brougham and senior Emily Thomson move from the second varsity eight to the first.

Thomson, who began the season in the stroke-seat for the third varsity eight, has jumped the second varsity eight entirely and earned a spot on the first varsity eight. Thomson was a part of the second varsity eight in her junior season at the NCAA Championships.

Morrow is among the leading candidates to find her way back onto the first varsity eight before the Cougars head to California for the Pac-12 Championships.

Morrow began the season in the six seat for the varsity eight and sat in the stroke spot for the varsity eight in the 2017 NCAA Championships.

The Cougars will start racing at 9 a.m. Saturday.

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WSU battles Zags as season winds down