CLEMSON, S.C. – The No. 19 Duke rowing team turned in a strong Saturday at the Clemson Invitational, qualifying for three A Finals on Sunday at Lake Hartwell. All five boats raced two times each with the V8, 2V8, 3V8, V4 and 2V4 all competing.
The Blue Devils were racing against seven squads ranked in the latest Collegiate Rowing Coaches Association national poll. Saturday featured two preliminary sessions of racing for placing into Sunday's A, B and C finals. On Sunday, the invitational will name a team champion for the first time. In total, Duke earned four second places, three thirds, one fourth, one sixth and one seventh during the opening day of the event. The Blue Devils' 2V8, V4 and 2V4 will compete in Sunday's A finals while the V8 and 3V8 will take part in the B final.
Duke’s V8 began the morning session with a 6:30.454 mark that put it third behind No. 4 Ohio State (6:20.630) and No. 14 Washington State (6:26.194). The Blue Devils’ V8 capped the afternoon session with a fourth-place showing with a time of 6:33.516. Fifth-ranked Texas won the race in 6:19.348 with No. 11 Wisconsin (6:25.870) taking second and UCF (6:31.394) third.
The Blue Devils’ 2V8 picked up a second-place finish in the morning (6:28.847), only trailing the Buckeyes’ 6:25.383 mark. Duke was able to hold off the Cougars (6:30.251) to hold on to second. The 2V8’s afternoon performance was good for third in 6:38.351, finishing behind the Longhorns (6:27.905) and Badgers (6:30.199).
Rowing to another second and third was Duke’s V4, which ended the morning race in 7:16.027 to come in second to Ohio State (7:10.679) and place ahead of Oklahoma (7:19.843) and Washington State (7:22.251). The afternoon performance of 7:26.044 was good for third, behind Wisconsin (7:10.683) and Texas (7:13.463).
Anchoring the second-place finishes was the 2V4 with a pair. The morning mark of 7:20.947 trailed the Buckeyes (7:09.469), but in front of No. 18 Louisville (7:24.826), which took third. The afternoon had the Blue Devils finish just behind No. 10 Virginia with the Cavaliers holding on for a 7:22.838-7:23.848 victory. Duke finished in front of third-place Oklahoma by nearly 10 seconds with the Sooners clocking out in 7:32.803.
Wrapping up the day was Duke’s 3V8 with a sixth and seventh. In the morning, the boat finished in 7:19.564 to take sixth and came in seventh with a 7:01.319 mark in the afternoon. Texas took the morning race in 6:45.849 and Ohio State the afternoon (6:40.255).
Sunday’s action begins at 8:30 a.m. with the V8 A final.
V8 - Meagan Lew, Megan Conroy, Sarah Fletcher, Shannon Tierney, Olivia Mendonca, Katherine Maitland, Sophie Simister, Isabel Ruby-Hill and Elizabeth Horne
2V8 - Karly Pearson, Phoebe Donovan, Lelia Boley, Rhea Bergman, Jessica Findlay, Kiernan Spencer, Abby Artmann, Taji Phillips and Celia Macrae
3V8 - Rani Duff, Grace Garverick, Alexa Campbell, Madison Brown, Sara Varsames, Anna Jenkins, Kiamya Philson, Cassie Ingram and Isabel Ruffin
V4 - Tara Fagan, Caroline Willis, Tara Christensen, Bella Miller and Karley Whelan
2V4 - Jiahui Liao, Tani O'Neill, Danielle Lodge, Julia Weber and Marissa Donadio