GOLD RIVER, Calif. – The Duke rowing program continued its solid showing at the NCAA Championships on Saturday at the Sacramento State Aquatic Center. The Blue Devils’ 2V8 and V4 won their C/D Semifinal races while the V8 took second in its C/D Semifinals as all three earned trips to Sunday’s C Final.
The top three crews from the C/D Semifinal heats advanced to the C Final while the remaining boats were placed in the D Final. The C Final will determine places 13-18 in the final standings.
"Today was a solid day for Duke," head coach Megan Cooke Carcagno said. "Each boat worked out some areas of their race plans and had another opportunity to line themselves up against some legit competitors. All three boats will race tomorrow in the C level final. While it's much more ideal to be in the top level final, I feel this is the appropriate racing field for our young team."
Duke’s V8 opened the day in the second heat of the C/D Semifinal and took second in 6:32.862 to Washington State’s 6:29.524. The Blue Devils, seeded 14th entering the competition, led the 13th-seeded Cougars through the first 500 meters, 1:35.920-1:37.500 and at the 1,000-meter mark, 3:12.570-3:13.590. The Cougars turned it on in the final 1,000 meters to come away with the victory. Duke easily cleared 18-seed Northeastern (6:40.769), 20-seed Rhode Island (6:46.368) and 21-seed Navy (6:52.014) for second.
The Blue Devils’ 2V8 led for the duration and breezed through the course in 6:41.080 to win its C/D Semifinal heat. The 11th-seeded Duke boat just missed a chance in the A/B Semifinals Friday night and bounced back Saturday morning with nearly a four-second victory against the field as the 16th-seed Syracuse took second in 6:44.991 with 17-seed Southern California placing third in 6:45.622. Rounding out the semifinal was Navy in 6:57.753 and Jacksonville in 7:23.625.
Duke’s V4 also snagged a victory as its 12-seeded boat cruised to a time of 7:24.262. The Blue Devils turned in their best time of the weekend by nearly 15 seconds after trailed 13-seed Southern California in the first 500 meters and turning it around in the final 1,500 meters. The Trojans finished in 7:28.344 while 19-seed Navy clocked out in 7:30.597, 20-seed UCF in 7:51.294 and 21-seed Rhode Island in 7:54.938.
"This weekend has been a solid step in the right direction," Cooke Carcagno added. "I know just being here is a thrill for us. What I hope is that we gain the necessary traction to use this experience as a foundation for next year. For our seniors, I want them to have their very last race be their best one."
The Blue Devils will complete their first NCAA Championships appearance Sunday. Duke’s V4 will begin the day at 11:24 a.m. ET with the 2V8 set to go at 11:48 a.m. and the V8 at 12:12 p.m.
2016 NCAA Championships Duke Results
Lake Natoma | Sacramento State Aquatics Center
Gold River, Calif.
NCAA Women's Division I V8 C/D Semifinals, Heat 2
1. Washington State - 6:29.524
2. Duke - 6:32.862 (Meagan Lew, Katherine Maitland, Karley Whelan, Isabel Ruby-Hill, Jessica Findlay, Alex Stonehill, Katie Dukovich, Meridith Kisting and Celia Macrae)
3. Northeastern – 6:40.769
4. Rhode Island – 6:46.368
5. Navy – 6:52.014
NCAA Women's Division I 2V8 C/D Semifinals, Heat 1
1. Duke - 6:41.080 (Simone Pitre, Megan Conroy, Lauren Miranda, Shannon Tierney, Sophie Simister, Julia Weber, Phoebe Donovan, Hannah Hewitt and Elizabeth Horne)
2. Syracuse - 6:44.991
3. Southern California - 6:45.622
4. Navy - 6:57.753
5. Jacksonville - 7:23.625
NCAA Women's Division I V4 C/D Semifinals, Heat 2
1. Duke - 7:24.262 (Sarah Wall, Mary Wilson, Sarah Fletcher, Marissa Donadio and Rhea Bergman)
2. Southern California - 7:28.344
3. Navy – 7:30.597
4. UCF - 7:51.294
5. Rhode Island - 7:54.938