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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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WSU-UW: Temperature doesn’t ruin Apple Cup fans’ enjoyment

It was 19 degrees at kickoff Saturday night, making it the coldest Apple Cup in the 107-year history of the series. (Tyler Tjomsland)
It was 19 degrees at kickoff Saturday night, making it the coldest Apple Cup in the 107-year history of the series. (Tyler Tjomsland)

PULLMAN – Ninety minutes before the coldest Apple Cup in history, Jael Thompson took her seat and warmed to the idea of what it means to be a die-hard Cougar fan.

Even after an all-day drive from Vancouver, Washington, in yet another night game – a sore point for many Cougar fans faced with late-night postgame drives.

“I just like that it’s at nighttime,” said Thompson, a 1998 graduate who brought along son Cody to cheer the Cougars and another son, Jack, a member of the WSU cheer team.

For those who stayed away – and there were many Saturday night – Thompson and other fans offered a counterpoint by making the most of the situation, even embracing it.

As far as the 7:30 p.m. kickoff – the third this season at Martin Stadium – Tom Woolley of Goldendale, Washington said it just makes the event that much better. “That way we catch the game and make it a whole weekend,” said Woolley, who also was joined by a nephew and a niece, Ryan and Lonnie Steltz of Selah, Washington.

Also huddled in the main grandstands were Jason Delp and Drew Higgins of Spokane. Neither is a WSU alum, but simply wanted to watch the game in person. For Higgins, having the game at night is “just awesome.”

And then there was Michelle Larson of Wilbur – a Husky fan, no less – who woke up Saturday morning and made a spur-of-the-moment decision to make her first trip to Pullman.

The reason was standing next to her. It was son Steven Chicklinsky’s 18th birthday. “I love him, and it’s the first time he’s got to see the Huskies in person,” Larson said.

Still almost empty at 7 p.m., the stands filled quickly before kickoff. Announced attendance was 32,952, with the stadium appearing about three-quarters full.

Temperature at kickoff Saturday night was 19 degrees, making it the coldest game in the 107-year history of the series. The previous record was in 1985 in Seattle, when the Cougars won 21-20 to claim their third Apple Cup trophy in four years before a frozen crowd of 49,302 (there were 10,895 no shows).

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