Rowing kicks off spring season at home

Cougars will compete against four teams Sunday on Snake River



Sophomore Madison Williams, left, senior Rachael Christman, center, and sophomore Taylor Blevins participate in the WSU small boat regatta on Sep. 29 at Wawawai Landing.

LEXI MCGONEGLE, Evergreen reporter

No. 15 WSU rowing will kick off its spring season against Gonzaga, Oregon State, Seattle Pacific and Loyola Marymount on Sunday at Wawawai Landing.

Originally scheduled to take place at Gonzaga, the spring opener was moved due to several inches of ice in the Spokane River.

In her 17th year as head coach, Jane LaRiviere said she has high expectations for this spring and believes the team has a great chance at a satisfying season.

“I think we have a top 10 team,” LaRiviere said. “But until you get in a race with the variety of conditions that could be present, you don’t really know what to expect.”

WSU has been ranked in the top 15 in the nation for 41 consecutive weeks dating back to March 25, 2015.

In the last regatta of this past fall, the Cougars went to Spokane and competed against Gonzaga and Oregon State. The varsity eight tied for first with Oregon State. The second varsity eight, novice eight and second novice eight all secured first-place finishes, and the third varsity eight placed second.

Inadequate training conditions this winter prevented the Cougars from being in the water. The team was out of the boats for five weeks before returning a few days before spring break.

While off the water, LaRiviere said the Cougars did a variety of cross-training to prepare for the spring season.

“The team would much prefer to be down at the boathouse, but it’s all about the right attitude,” LaRiviere said. “We don’t technically have to be our fastest until May 19 when the Pac-12 Championship is, so we’re going to keep working on it.”

LaRiviere said Sunday’s regatta will be the biggest event to be hosted on the 2000-meter Snake River course with seven teams and about 220 athletes competing.

“We’re blitzing our previous record of athletes,” LaRiviere said. “We’ll have a full schedule and the team can hardly wait.”

Racing will begin at 9 a.m. Sunday at Wawawai Landing on the Snake River. All times may be subject to change.