Washington State University



Cougar Crew History 

Hundreds of photos have been taken over the several decades of Cougar Crew's History. Sometimes the exact facts including the people who participated and what race it was are forgotten. Every week, the site will be posting a picture and it would be greatly appreciated if any information could be given about the photos. With information about the photos we can continue to update Cougar Crew's history. Please send us any information about the photo by emailing Alexander Ashton at aagashton@gmail.com

WSU News Puts A Spotlight On Cougar Crew!

Check it Out Here: https://news.wsu.edu/category/student-news/


Change Coming to the

Lightweight Women

By: Sidney Cross


This upcoming year is going to be full of changes for the lightweight women. This fall 2016, will mark the first year that the lightweights will be accepting women without the weight limit of 130lbs stopping their recruitment possibilities. With the new change of the team from purely lightweights to now an open weight club team there will also be a name change to this program. Washington State University Lightweight Women will now be called Washington State University Club Women’s Rowing. With the weight limit lifted from the program it will be great to see the number girls that will be recruited this summer to build a more competitive team. Even though this will become an openweight club team for the women, there will still be a high focus on having competitive crews in the lightweight division as well with the new openweight races.

Along with the new changes to the name and all around program itself, the women’s team will also be receiving a new coach. With Giles leaving the program after his four years at WSU the women are looking forward to a new coach. At this point we may have an exchange program set up with the coaches on the other side of the Atlantic, being that Dave Kempsell is also from England. Dave comes to Washington State after his fourth year of coaching at Bedford Modern School in England, where he has coached multiple crews winning national titles and medals, including a number of junior GB internationals.

Dave began rowing at Brunel University before joining Star Club in Bedford where he rowed in the first ever Star crew to reach a final at Henley Royal Regatta in the 2011 Thames Cup, before winning the Britannia Challenge Cup in 2012, the club’s first Henley trophy. Dave then moved to Leander Club in Henley, placing 5th in the first GB trial after the London Olympics, and picking up a bronze medal at the 2013 British Championships. Dave also represented England twice, at the 2010 and 2012 Home Countries Regatta, winning the coxed four event in 2012. Since ending his competitive rowing career, Dave has continued using the erg to keep fit, setting a new British record for the Marathon in the 19-29 age category in February 2016.

Dave has moved to Washington to study for a Masters in Sport Management and to experience the U.S. collegiate rowing scene first hand.

Washington State Showcases

Strong Novice Class!

By: Alexander Ashton and Sidney Cross


Washington State Cougar Crew had a strong showing at ACRAs this past weekend. The team raced on the former course for the 1996 Olympics under humid and hot conditions. Competition at the regatta was high caliber including top clubs like Michigan and UCSB.

Cougar Crew faced off against other top club teams from around the United States. The 1st Varsity had a total of four races over the course of this weekend, however even in the hot conditions they had a strong showing in each race. Their best race was in the Reps which decides what crews go to the Semi-Finals. The 1V pulled hard to finish second behind UMass and recorded their fastest time at 6:08.108. They then went on to face tough crews in the B-Final including Boston College and UC Davis. The 1V were duking it out with several other boats across the 1000m until Texas pulled away, which left only New Hampshire. With a valiant effort and a sprint called by Senior Coxswain Alyssa Kodama the 1V came across the finish line in 7 place, in front of New Hampshire. The Junior Varsity faced adversity once again this weekend, having to race in a 2002 Vespoli usually meant for heavyweight crews, the JV struggled in their first heat coming in sixth place. Commodore Griffin Berger stated after the race that “the JV’s mental game was strong and that pulling hard wasn’t the issue.” To improve their chances of having a successful race several seniors in the boat stepped up and asked for better equipment. With the help of the coaches the JV were able to use the Novice’s shell and oars. In the reps the JV had an outstanding sprint in the last 400m moving up five seats on DePaul to finish ahead of them by less than five tenths of a second. The JV finished off their season strong with a third place finish with a time of 6:33.898 in the Petite Finals, which garnered great praise from Coach Alec and Coach Arthur who both stated that “having a JV 8 is necessary to be a top club program, so for these guys to keep strong and keep on racing in the eight is a testament to the toughness of these guys and to what Cougar Crew is all about.”

Both novice entries, the N8 and NL4, had their best race of the year in Saturday's heats, advancing directly to the grand finals where their determination produced even more speed. It was our most competitive Novice 8 lineup since 2009's silver in that we finished less than a length out of medal contention. With a 5th place finish last year and 6th this year it shows consistent high level performance at the national level.  The Novice Lightweight 4 also found themselves in a very close race going into the last 500 meters, trading places with several crews to finish just out of the medals in 4th place. Arthur Ericson stated “I couldn't be more proud of the teamwork and effort of all 14 novice oarsmen and coxswains leading up to the national championships.”

Lightweight women dominated ACRA this weekend for Cougar Crew. This weekend’s races started off with the two 2x racing to get into finals. Both WSU 2x boats placed, taking first and third. The 2x boats knew that if they did not place in the top three of their race then they would have to race in the reps. Having another race later in the day in the Georgia heat was not an option so they pulled themselves across the line in order to not have to race again until Sunday morning in the grand finals. The lightweight 4+ also raced on Saturday in a race for lanes, and took it easy in order to allow a strong row on Sunday for the final event.

Sunday was a good day for the lightweight women. It started off with the 2x boats racing to see where they placed in the nation. Off the start the WSU boats were in the lead up to the first 500m where Wichita and Kansas State started to pull even. The WSU ‘A’ and ‘B’ boats stayed with them up until the 1000m when the stroke of the ‘B’ boat had an asthma attack. This caused them to drop back but continue to stay in the race, pulling hard and never stopping for a moment. The ‘A’ boat stayed with Wichita and Kansas State until they started to pull away. With the ‘A’ boat positioned in third place at this point in the race, the girls knew that it was going to hurt to keep off Purdue who was trying to get into a medaling position. With a power move, the ‘A’ boat stayed ahead and was able to keep their third place finish. Hannah Wilson and Sidney Cross took third in the nation in the 2x open weight event with Alyx Powell and Teresa Nguyen close behind.

The Lightweight 4+ was excited to finally race their official lineup after circumstances required them to substitute different rowers at the past two regattas. The WVL4+ was up against Cal State Long Beach and Northwestern, both of whom this crew has raced before at WIRA and Dad Vail respectively. Knowing that Long Beach was a good deal faster than our lineup based on their performance at WIRA and in Saturday’s race for lanes, the lightweights set their sights on beating Northwestern and defending their silver medal from last year’s ACRA’s. Off the start, Long Beach began pulling away from WSU and Northwestern in lane 4 and increased their open water lead throughout the 2k, the entire race was a head-to-head battle between WSU in lane 3 and Northwestern in lane 5. Coxswain Grace Montgomery says that, “Up to the 1000 meter mark, our crew was bow ball to bow ball with lane 5, going back and forth between which crew would have a slight lead in the moment”. Coming into the third 500, the lightweights knew they had to make a move and start taking seats on Northwestern if they hoped to medal in this race. A power move pushed the lightweights forward to have Northwestern’s bow ball on our crew’s bow pair, and with the motivation to pull for the graduating seniors, our coach Giles, and to defend 2015’s silver medal, the lightweights sprinted to have an open water lead over Northwestern as they crossed the finish line.

This weekend the lightweight women were pulling for more than just themselves and the other girls in their boats, but also for their coach Giles Dakin-White. Giles will be leaving Cougar Crew after coming to the program in the Fall of 2012 to coach the novice men. Giles began coaching the lightweight women back in the Fall of 2014 and brought focus and change to the team. Giles has coached his boats, men and women, to numerous wins and medals, but is now leaving the program to head back to dreary old England with his wife and son. Cougar Crew wishes Giles the best in the years to come and thanks him for being a coach to many of the men and women who are a part of this program.

The American Collegiate Rowing Association selects rowers each year for the All-Region team. This selection process is based off of 2,000 meter testing scores, performance of their crew, career racing results, accomplishments and leadership within their team, individual performances and coach recommendation. Junior Michael Marelli was selected as one of the rowers to the West All-Region Team. Alongside him Seniors Ashley Vu and Sidney Cross were selected to represent the West Region. Congratulations to our Cougar Crew rowers for earning these highly decorated awards.

Race Results

LWT Women: ACRA_2016_Lightweight_Women_Race_Results

Varsity and Novice Men: ACRA_2016_Mens_Racing_Results_1_




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September 2016
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