The Washington State rowing team kicks off their 2011 fall season this weekend at the Head of the Pend Oreille Regatta.
The Cougars are coming off a 12th place overall finish at the NCAA Rowing Championships this past May, and senior kinesiology major Liz England said the performance at the competition leaves them in a positive place.
Senior psychology major Lisa Roman said last year’s appearance at the NCAA Championships gives the team more hope of a third consecutive appearance this year.
“Last year, we grew a lot as a team and coming into this year we have a positive outlook,” Roman said. “Making it to the NCAA Championship two years in a row makes us as a team feel like we are strong enough to make it again this year.”
According to a WSU press release, the Cougs finished with 39 overall team points at the NCAA Championships. The Cougars' second varsity eight team and varsity four team each placed 10th in their respective events while the varsity eight team was 11th.
This weekend’s Regatta will be an opportunity for WSU to ease back into the competitive environment.
England said she thinks a key component for this weekend will be for the team to manage themselves in the racing environment. England said this will be the first time for a lot of the young women on the team to be competing as collegiate athletes.
England said she thinks that maintaining poise, a maturity level and just overall racing their race will be focal points.
The regatta is hosted by the Priest River Yacht Club, and it is the first year that it has been held.
Head Coach Jane LaRiviere said this will be an additional part of the team's fall training.
“This is really just an opportunity to break up the training that we have been doing for the past month,” LaRiviere said. “We are going to be rowing in even lineups, so we are going to go and train on Friday, get a new environment and use this as a way to perk everyone up.”
LaRiviere said the team is competing in the regatta because they want to support people who put on races close to the WSU area. She said showing this support could turn into something really great in the future.
The Head of the Pend Oreille will be held Saturday in Priest River, Idaho.
“The overall goal is just to get people in bigger boats and really just test it,” Roman said. “The goal is to go out there and have fun but still be competitive.”