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Cougar Crew Days commemorating 50 years of rowing at WSU – WSU Insider


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A half-century of competitive rowing at Washington State University is being commemorated today as part of Cougar Crew Days.

What began with a couple of trainees building their own boathouse and racing with equipment contributed by a University of Washington rowing coach has actually progressed into a club that’s provided hundreds their very first taste of belonging of a bon-a-fide university crew group. It likewise has actually become an intercollegiate NCAA program for WSU females professional athletes.

An enthusiasm for rowing – especially with the stunning Snake River Canyon as a background – kept Cougar Crew rowing ever onward as brand-new trainee professional athletes used up the oars of those that came in the past. The determination of Cougar Crew through rough and calm waters shows how essential its determination is for alumni along with those in the boats today.

“Student clubs are really difficult to maintain, and when you consider the cost, equipment and logistical needs of the sport, it’s almost unbelievable that the club was not only formed, but persists to this day,” said David Arnold, a Cougar Crew member who narrated the history of the group in his book, “Pull Hard!”.

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Cougar Crew Days is occurring Thursday through Saturday in Pullman and will consist of races amongst existing and previous members along with a celebratory banquet and auction at Beasley Coliseum. More info is available on the Cougar Crew website.  

Rowing on the Palouse

The grit and decision of the charter member of what was initially referred to as the WSU Rowing Club were evaluated early on.

The initial boathouse developed by members listed below lower Granite Dam at Boyer Park in 1971 was damaged the list below year by a storm, requiring members to start once again. The very first WSU rowers just made it to the water since of UW coach Dick Erickson, who contributed the group’s very first 2 shells.

Erikson would show prophetic when he said in 1973 to a group of dissatisfied Cougs after a race, “Look at what you guys have started…come back here in fifty years and you won’t believe what this has grown into.”

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Among the standouts from the early days of Cougar Crew were Paul Enquist and Kristi Norelius, who both made gold medals in rowing occasions at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Games.

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