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Murrow College of Communication at WSU

The return of the burn: WSU Coug Calves are back!

PULLMAN, WASH. (Murrow News 8) – Nationwide, universities are going back to campus to have classes in-person, an exciting relief for most students and faculty.

Here in Pullman, Washington State University is alive once again since the spring of 2020. If you’re a part of the WSU family, you probably know the term “Coug Calves,” the popular and well-known effect the rolling campus hills can have on the calves of those who conquer them. As rejoiced Cougs return home, they’re reminded of the burn these infamous hills provide every day.

“They’re steep man, they’re very steep… these cougar calves… it’s definitely real,” said WSU Junior Transfer Zita DaRe, as she took a break from the climb, sitting up against the stone wall lining of one of campus’s longest hills.

When asked how these hills have been treating them so far, a few WSU freshman replied with:

“Halfway through, I’m like, ‘I don’t know if I’m gonna make it,” Lara Haddick said.       

“My shins hurt,” Abby Jasper said.

“Hills aren’t ideal,” Maya Westenhofer said.

Common tips are to treat your walking shoes like your best friends, take some extra time to walk to class, and be prepared to remove layers throughout the day; you think it’s chilly in the morning, but just wait for the sun to come out during these summer and early fall months, you will be sweating.

“These hills are no joke, be prepared to walk a lot, and your calves are gonna burn,” DaRe said.

As excited freshman learn the ways of Pullman and begin navigating their way across campus for the first time, WSU Senior Gideon Manahan as some advice:

“Enjoy the pain,” Manahan said. “Your calves look amazing, your back will be sweaty, but it’s all part of the experience and everyone kind of bonds over it.”

 Cougs Calves may be something you have known for years, are just getting used to, or had no clue existed until now, but if you’re in Pullman, you will become very familiar with the burn.

As always, go Cougs.



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Note: Murrow News is produced by students of the Edward R. Murrow College of Communication at Washington State University. Northwest Public Broadcasting proudly supports the work produced by these young journalists. 

If you have any issues/concerns please feel free to reach out to Instructor, Matt Loveless or Department Chair, Ben Shors.

©2020 Washington State University Board of Regents – Edward R. Murrow College of Communication. 

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