DURHAM, N.C. – A school-record eight Duke student-athletes were named Collegiate Rowing Coaches Association Scholar-Athletes, the CRCA announced Tuesday.
Representing Duke on the team were seniors Sarah Baker, Katie Burke, Sydney Johnson and Emily Theys and sophomores Sophia Blair, Sophia Staal, Claire Vannelli and Karolina Wadolowska. The eight selections best Duke’s previous record of six, set last season, and were the most of any ACC school this season.
To be eligible for consideration as a CRCA Scholar-Athlete, all rowers must be in their second, third or fourth year of eligibility and maintain a grade point average of at least 3.5 while also competing in at least 75 percent of the team's spring season.
This is the third selection for both Burke and Theys and the second for Baker. Burke and Theys are only the fifth and sixth rowers in Duke’s 15-year history to earn CRCA Scholar-Athlete accolades three times.
Baker, a senior coxswain from Fairport, N.Y., coxed Duke’s varsity four and second varsity four this season. A two-time member of the All-ACC Academic Rowing Team and a CRCA Scholar-Athlete in 2012, she graduated from Duke in May with a degree in cultural anthropology.
Blair, a sophomore from Newtown Square, Pa., rowed with Duke’s second varsity eight as a freshman and sophomore. She earned ACC Academic Honor Roll honors as a freshman and is pursuing her undergraduate degree in Asian and Middle Eastern Studies.
Burke, a senior from Lutz, Fla., rowed with Duke’s varsity eight during her final three years of competition, including this past season when she helped the Blue Devils edge No. 14 Clemson at the ACC Championships. A three-time member of the All-ACC Academic Rowing Team and a CRCA Scholar-Athlete in 2011 and 2012, she graduated from Duke in May with a degree in psychology.
Johnson, a senior from Lincoln, Neb., joined the Duke team as a novice her freshman year and worked her way into Duke’s second varsity eight as a sophomore. She competed with that boat during her final three years of competition. A three-time member of the ACC Academic Honor Roll, she graduated from Duke in May with a degree in religion.
Staal, a sophomore from Nairobi, Kenya, competed with Duke’s varsity four as a sophomore, helping the boat to a second-place finish at the ACC Championship. She earned ACC Academic Honor Roll status following her freshman season and is double majoring in political science and French.
Theys, a senior from Stoughton, Wisc., was among the most decorated rowers to graduate from Duke this season. A four-year member of the varsity eight, Theys has three times earned All-ACC and All-South Region honors and powered Duke’s varsity eight to several top finishes this season, including a second-place showing at the ACC Championship. Theys, who is also a member of the US Rowing U-23 National Team, has twice been named to the All-ACC Academic Rowing Team and thrice to the CRCA Scholar-Athlete squad. She graduated from Duke in May with a degree in sociology.
Vannelli, a sophomore from London, Ontario, was a key piece of the Duke varsity eight in her second season. After winning three gold medals at the Head of the Hooch in the fall, Vannelli helped the Blue Devil V8 earn ACC Crew of the Week honors and a second-place ACC finish.
Wadolowska, a sophomore from Cape Coral, Fla., was a member of Duke’s second varsity eight this season. She appeared on the ACC Academic Honor Roll as a freshman and is pursuing a degree in Slavic and Eurasian Studies.