If you haven’t seen the Men’s Crew club showing off on the front steps of the Student Recreation Center yet, today is your last chance. They have been there since last week competing against passers-by, challenging them in a distance race and spreading the word about the team through their Student Body Challenge.
The team is looking to recruit anyone up for the task, not just freshmen, but those interested from all years.
“We are looking for guys who want to take their previous competitive sports background into a new sport and to the next level,” Head Coach Arthur Ericsson said. “New rowers have a month to try the sport without any cost involved, so it is a golden opportunity to see if it is something that they like.”
There will be open practices today and Wednesday at 3:30 p.m. in room 201 in the Hollinbery Fieldhouse. After that, those interested can contact coach Peter Brevick.
“We are a very inclusive team, and this has been one of our strengths,” Ericsson said. “We have one of the largest rosters in the [Western Intercollegiate Rowing Association] conference. Numbers have helped us have more depth and in the process, makes faster boats. It is more fun to practice when you have three or four 8’s of guys all going up against each other every day. Between 30-40 novice is our goal to bring into the spring semester.”
According to Ericsson, crew is broke down into novice rowers (those in their first year) and varsity rowers. For men under 160 pounds, there is also a lightweight class. There are events with boats of eight teammates, four teammates and pairs.
While it is not an official sport for the university, men’s rowing is still just as significant to the athletics family as any other varsity sport.
“It was started in 1970, holds two national championships, is the only club sport recognized as a Varsity-Club, spawned Palouse Rowing and our newest team, Women’s Lightweight Rowing,” Ericsson said. “We row on the Snake River out of the Ken Abbey Shellhouse at Wawawai Landing. We are members of the Western Intercollegiate Rowing Association, Pac-12 Conference and the American Collegiate Rowing Association. For the past two years, we have been the top club team in the western United States, with silver and bronze medals at the [American Collegiate Rowing Association] national championships.”
So far in the Student Body Competition, the race is looking tight. While they won’t know for sure who won until 8 p.m., when the competition ends, there were a few close calls.
“It was almost tied for the first two days but then the steady effort of ‘Joe Rower’ has moved the crew team slightly ahead of the student body,” Ericsson said. “With a united effort, the student-body could easily come back, we just need people willing to contribute.”
If not for the competition, join for the comradery that comes with being part of a team.
“I walked onto the team three years ago having never rowed before,” senior landscape architecture major and team Commodore Andrew King said. “I knew I wanted something that would challenge and push me, crew accomplished that. Teammates quickly became lifelong friends as we pushed each other to go faster. There is a lot of pride in being a Cougar oarsmen, knowing that you are a part of something much larger than just you.”
For more information, you can visit www.row.wsu.edu.