The Washington men and women’s rowing teams will face conference rivals Washington State University and Oregon State University at 9 a.m. Saturday on the Montlake Cut.
The No. 1 men’s crew team will compete in six races against Washington State’s club teams and OSU. After scraping by in last week’s regatta against Brown, the Huskies are hoping for an improvement this weekend.
“Every week is a stepping stone to the next level,” head coach Michael Callahan said.
“We want to start building on the ends of our race. Have a faster start and a faster finish.”
The UW narrowly defeated Brown on Saturday after uncharacteristically falling behind at the start of the race. The lack of returning athletes may have been a factor in the race, as five of eight men in the varsity eight are new to the boat this year.
“In that top boat, everything is much more precise and moving that much quicker,” Callahan said. “It’s a different pressure, different atmosphere.”
Oregon State has competed in the Intercollegiate Rowing Association championships for the past three years, and its varsity eight placed sixth last weekend in the Copley Cup race at the San Diego Crew Classic.
The WSU club team also joined the Beavers in San Diego, and their varsity eight placed fourth in the Cal Cup, a part of the San Diego Crew Classic.
The men’s first race, the open eight, will square off at 9 a.m., with every other race alternating between men and women’s team.
The women’s varsity eight is coming off a loss to Stanford on Saturday at the Oregon State Invitational, and while they found success in the other races that day, they were ultimately hoping for a sweep.
“We are working hard this week to defend our home course and continue to develop and go as fast as we possibly can,” interim women’s head coach Conor Bullis said. “I am expecting our team to approach this race this weekend with all the passion and energy of every Apple Cup that we have ever seen around here.”
The women will also begin with the open eight and will face in-state rival WSU. Last year, when the Huskies traveled to Snake River, they beat the Cougars by two seconds in the varsity eight.
“[WSU] is going to bring it this year,” sophomore coxswain Phoebe Marks-Nicholes said. “I’m excited to race them and test ourselves even more. It’s just another opportunity to show our new pressure and what we can bring to the table.”
Reach reporter Liz Cusanelli at email@example.com. Twitter: @liz_cusanelli17