On Saturday, Oct. 13, the men’s and women’s Gonzaga rowing program hosted Washington State University in the annual Head of the Spokane on the Spokane River. 

The men’s varsity eight boat started the day on the 5,000-meter course with a five-second win over WSU at 15 minutes, 40 seconds. The Zags' second varsity eight came in at 16:49, with the Cougars eight seconds behind. 

WSU’s varsity four crossed the finish line six seconds before GU, who scored a 19:23 time. GU also raced two third varsity eight boats, who placed first and third at 15:37 and 16:42. 

The men’s program will be heading to the Head of the American in Sacramento on Oct. 27. 

The beautiful fall day with great conditions set the stage for Marisa Wortman’s debut as head coach. 

The Cougars' second novice eight (21:02) finished ahead of their first novice eight at 21:11 and the Zags' first novice eight at 21:21. 

WSU’s varsity four “A” team had a top time of 18:31, while GU’s varsity four “D” team trailed close behind for the next best time of 18:50. 

The Zags' “C” pairs boat clocked in at 20:12, just ahead of the “A” pairs boat at 20:26. The Cougs' pair boat finished at 20:37. 

“We’ve been having our girls go out in pairs and fours a lot recently and having them get the opportunity to race against Washington State again is really exciting,” said assistant women’s rowing coach Sam Casto. “Being able to see improvement from those times and in fairly similar boats has [also] been really exciting.”

Next, the women’s team will travel to Portland for the Portland Fall Classic on Oct. 28. 

Arcelia Martin is a news editor. Follow her on Twitter: @arcelitamartin.

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