Philadelphia, Pa. --- After working through the heats on Friday, Duke headed into Saturday's final day of races at the 76th annual Dad Vail Regatta by qualifying the novice eight, varsity pair, varsity four, second varsity eight and varsity eight for the semifinals and grand finals.
The strongest performance of the weekend came from Duke's top boat of coxswain Caroline Kiritsy, Kathy Smithwick, Katie Burke, Emily Theys, Rory Erickson-Kulas, Tara Dalton, Laura Sciarrino, Grace Cassidy and Claire Vannelli. After capturing first in the heat and semifinal rounds, the octet took to the water determined to have a strong performance. In a thrilling finish, the Blue Devils edged out Bucknell by .24 seconds with a time of 6:43.79 to win the grand final.
The second varsity eight crew of Emilie Marchetti, Brielle Batesko, Tori Arendt, Sophia Blair, Lauren Lashmet, Laura Guth, Julie Rohde, Victoria Tsamis and Sydney Johnson placed fourth in the grand final with a time 7:16.95. Drexel (7:11.124) captured first with Bucknell (7:11.535) and Saint Josephs (7:13.473) rounding out the top three.
After placing second in the semifinal, the varsity four crew of coxswain Ashleigh Anne McKinney, Allison Beattie, Elizabeth Howell, Nancy McKinstry and Lissa Glynn finished third with a time of 7:54.607. Drake grabbed first with a time of 7:47.927 followed by Old Dominion (7.52.018).
The novice eight boat finished fourth in the semifinal while the varsity pair placed sixth in the semifinal.
"This was a great way to end our season," said head coach Robyn Horner. "It gives us solid motivation as we go into summer training. I also want to thank our seniors for their tremendous contribution. They've been team leaders since they arrived as freshmen and leave our program much stronger then when they arrived."
This was the Blue Devils' first time competing in the Dad Vail Regatta which had more than more than 3,500 student athletes from 118 colleges and universities competing on Philadelphia's Schuylkill River.
For complete results of the Dad Vail Regatta, visit: