Beginning in the Fall of 2016, the former "Lightweight Women's Rowing" team, the women's half of Cougar Crew, is changing identities to become "WSU Women's Club Rowing," still part of Cougar Crew. After much consideration, team leaders, coaches, and alumni came together in a decision to make rowing a possibility for every young woman at Washington State University.
As a lightweight team, we had to turn away any girl who would not be able to make the weight maximum of 130.0 lbs on race day. Unfortunately, this meant that a lot of 'midweight' girls who wanted to row and developed a passion for the sport would have no place to pursue this passion at WSU. Here at Cougar Crew, we believe that anybody who wants to learn how to row and is ready to make the commitment should have the opportunity to do so. At our Spring 2016 Cougar Crew Alumni Association meeting, the idea to expand our team was brought forth for consideration by former lightweight women and novice men's coach, Giles Dakin-White, and was approved by a majority vote. Recruitment of openweight girls began in the Summer of 2016, and in addition, girls who try out for the varsity women's team but do not make it will be welcome to join us to row, just as in years past.
It is important to note the differences between the Women's Rowing program within Athletics at WSU and WSU Women's Club Rowing, part of Cougar Crew. Primarily, we are a club team, and just like the men, we must do a substantial amount of fundraising throughout the year as we are not funded by Athletics. Instead, our club team is supported by University Recreation. There are more out-of-pocket costs for girls to participate, and we compete, for the most part, in different divisions of different regattas. Our team, however, is competitive. In 2016 our lightweights won silver in the 2x and bronze in the 4+ at WIRA, as well as a bronze in the 2x and silver in the 4+ at ACRA.
Headed by new Women's Club Rowing coach, Hugo Moon, the now openweight team plans to build on last years medaling momentum and continue to proudly enter competitive lightweight and openweight lineups at regattas throughout the year. The team hopes that with a mixture of girls of different sizes and abilities, we will push each other to be the best athletes, rowers, and teammates we can be.