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Gonzaga crew’s first Husky: Senior Owen Malone

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As six seat of the near boat, Malone powers the 1st Varsity eight to a fourth place finish at the 2019 Stotesbury Cup Regatta.

The catch, the drive and the recovery are the basic parts of the rowing stroke, and if a rower excels at it, he can carry out this sequence for 2000 meters within six minutes and 20 seconds. At the highest level of rowing, this is mandatory.

Senior Owen Malone has proved that he has not just excelled, but he has mastered the basic stroke. Malone has been recruited by University of Washington in Seattle, the number two rowing school in the country, only second to the Bulldogs of Yale University. At 6 feet 3 inches, Malone towers over most of the student body and usually sports a purple hoodie with a gold ‘W’. 

Before rowing, he tried other sports, but he didn’t find one he loved as much as rowing.

“I never really got into basketball. I was the center always. I was never able to touch the ball,” Malone said. 

Malone plays a lot of sports. Other than basketball, he played soccer, rugby and football, but chose rugby as his sport of choice; he played rugby from ages 4 to 15. Currently, he still helps out set up for the Old Glory rugby team, based in D.C. Malone finally found the sport of rowing in late middle school. 

Malone started his rowing career the summer before seventh grade where he enrolled into a beginner rowing camp. He joined the Old Dominion Boat Club team and rowed with them until the end of the fall season 2016, eventually joining the Gonzaga freshman squad in the spring of 2017 with the second freshman boat. All of Owen’s friends from George Washington Middle School were going to row at T.C. Williams High School. He wanted to continue rowing with them, but his father went to Gonzaga, so Owen had to quit the T.C. Williams team to carry on the Malone family legacy. 

“I also wanted to get some racing in, and because the Gonzaga freshman program only has one race, whereas I had a race every week with the other program,” Malone said.

At Gonzaga, he stands out for his accomplishments on and off the water. He is the president or ‘consul’ of the Classics Club, and his rowing trophy case includes a gold medal in the second varsity event at the 2018 Stotesbury Cup Regatta. Additionally, Malone is a two-time medalist (one gold, one bronze) at the Scholastic Rowing Association of America’s championship. He was named first boat for the spring The Washington Post All-Met team in 2019. 

All this success has not come from just showing up to practice after school. Almost every Tuesday and Thursday at 7:30 a.m., Malone chips away at a 6000-meter rowing workout in the basement of Forte Hall.

“The thing that stands out most about Owen is his willingness to take on every challenge, no matter how difficult,” said Head Varsity Coach Andrew Bacas. 

After Gonzaga, Malone has decided on The University of Washington; he is the first Gonzaga crew member ever to commit to Washington.

Malone on Signing day committing to University of Washington

Over the years, Gonzaga has put out many powerhouses in the rowing world.  For example, Joe Johnson and Christian Tabash, both class of 2017, attend 3rd best rowing school Harvard University. Woods Connell, class of 2016, will graduate from 1st ranked Yale University this coming Spring. 

As a leader, Malone has always been behind his crew mates cheering them on to progress faster, to row at a higher level and to exceed any expectation. 

“He’s a positive force who constantly pushes the team to hit new heights and holds himself and others to a high standard of competition,” said senior and fellow varsity rower Seamus Carroll-Gavula.

Malone says most of his success came from all coaches at Gonzaga, especially noting Assistant Varsity Coach Todd Jesdale. Jesdale first coached Malone in the fall of 2018, and since then, Jesdale has taught Malone how to be a great rower and an even better person.

“He has been very much a role model to me, everyday after practice [we spend] at least 15 minutes just talking about stuff, and he is a very caring guy, and he really cares about who you are and how you are doing,” Malone said.

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