Apple cup of the sea; WSU rowing to face off against rival UW

Daniel Rodriguez | Evergreen rowing reporter

The Cougars and Huskies will square off once again for the much-anticipated battle for the Apple Cup. This time however, it isn’t on turf or the hardwood. Instead both schools are taking it to the water.

The No. 13 ranked WSU women’s rowing team heads to Seattle Saturday to face-off against the No.5 ranked Washington Huskies on Lake Union. The race between the two schools will begin at 9 a.m.

This will be the third time this season the Cougars and Huskies have battled on the water. The first time was at the Head of the Lake Regatta last November when the WSU varsity four and third varsity eight won their events and defeated their in-state rival.

The Cougars’ most recent matchup against the Huskies was at the San Diego Crew Classic. The WSU varsity eight, second varsity eight, and novice eight all competed in the Grand Finals. This time around, the Huskies clocked better times. The Washington women’s rowing team defeated the WSU varsity eight by less than eight seconds and the second varsity eight by two seconds.

Washington will get home-field advantage in this upcoming matchup, but both schools hope to make a statement prior to the Pac-12 championships.

“I think we raced really strong (at the San Diego Crew Classic), and we just want to have a race that builds on the race that we put down in the grand final,” WSU Head Coach Jane LaRiviere said. “It’s all going to come down to the Pac-12 Championships in May, so this is where we work to improve and fine tune and go as fast as we possibly can each week, one step at a time”

Racing in the toughest conference, LaRiviere said she hopes to gain much from unyielding competitions every week.

“This is the fastest conference in the country. In last week’s polls all seven of the Pac-12 schools were ranked in the top 20, so every single week is a challenge,” LaRiviere said. “That’s why I coach, to put ourselves against the best, and that’s what we see every week in the Pac-12.”

Even outside Pullman territory, many WSU fans will make an appearance in Seattle cheering on the Cougar women’s rowing team.

“We’re expecting a big turnout, and I know the parents always plan a little celebration after our race, so we’re looking forward to being in Seattle,” LaRiviere said.

Next, Washington State will travel to Clemson, S.C., for the Clemson Invite April 19 and 20.