DURHAM, N.C. – The Duke rowing team welcomes seven walk-ons in Sydney Aquilina, Margot Calmar, Savannah Herbek, Anna Power Jestin, Sandy Lynn, Caroline Olsen and Olivia Vogel to the 2017-18 squad.
“Rowing continues to grow at the youth level, but there's still limited access to it compared to basketball or soccer,” said assistant coach Victoria McGee. “The walk-on aspect of collegiate rowing is great because it provides opportunities for women who never thought they would be Division I athletes. They might not have been good enough to swim at this level, but they can bring the skills they learned from their swimming training and apply it to rowing. For example, senior Taji Philips walked on two years ago with no rowing experience, and raced at the Head of the Charles this past weekend in our Varsity 8. She is athletic and works hard, bringing a competitive fire to every practice, and not to mention is a great teammate. That's what our goal is - to find a few more people every year who can contribute those things to our team, and for them to come out of four years feeling more empowered because of their experience here.”
A closer look at each Blue Devil:
Sydney Aquilina hails from Leesburg, Va., as a track & field athlete, as well as a ballet dancer. Aquilina was a sprint and high jump specialist at Loundoun County High School and attended the Loundoun Ballet Company for ballet. Additionally, Aquilina was involved in ultimate frisbee. Outside of athletics, Aquilina was a member of the National Honor Society, Mu Alpha Theta and the Science National Honor Society. Aquilina received the Excellence in Education Award and was named Woman of the Year.
Margot Calmar comes to Duke from Stonington, Conn., with a background in lacrosse, field hockey and basketball, and was previously a member of the Duke women’s lacrosse team for one season. While in high school, Calmar was a two-time all-state selection and state champion in lacrosse for Stonington High School. Calmar received all-state, state champion and state championship most valuable player honors in field hockey and collected 1,000 points and rebounds in basketball. While at Duke, Calmar was named to the Dean’s List (Fall 2016, Spring 2017) and received ACC Academic Honor Roll recognition (Spring 2016).
Savannah Herbek joins the Blue Devil family from Simsbury, Conn., with a three-year varsity letter in rowing. Herbek attended Simsbury High School and was the starboard under coach Mark Raymond. Herbek was a Connecticut Public Schools Rowing Association (CPSRA) Champion during her sophomore and junior year in the 2V8 boat. Herbek also lettered four years in ice hockey as a defensive right wing, where she was a state champion and the Southern Connecticut Conference (SCC) her freshman and sophomore year. Herbek was also awarded the most improved award her sophomore year and a captain and most valuable player during her senior year. Outside of athletics, Herbek was a member of the National Honor Society, Tri-M Music Honors Society and was the Vice President of the Spanish National Honors Society. Additionally, Herbek was awarded the 2016 Harvard Book Award and the 2017 Humphrey Scholarship Award.
Anna Power Jestin
Anna Power Jestin comes to Duke from Paris, France and attended the Lycee Louis Le Grand. In France, Power Jestin was involved in artistic gymnastics, rhythmic gymnastics and taekwondo. As an artistic gymnast for 10 years, Power Jestin was a regional champion and Paris champion multiple times, both in team and individual competitions, as well as assuming the role of team captain. As an individual and team competitor in hoop and ball for four years, Power Jestin was a Paris champion and regional podium honoree in rhythmic gymnastics. In taekwondo, Power Jestin competed individually in combat and poomsae a total of four years, two of which she competed. She was a Paris vis-champion, qualified for nationals during her first year and earned a black belt after three years by the International Taekwondo Federation. Outside of athletics, Power Jestin was a member of her high school’s Chemistry Olympiads team, member of the Paris Conservatory and was involved in the high school newspaper.
Sandy Lynn comes to Duke from the University of Chicago. Prior to playing club women’s ice hockey in Chicago, Lynn was a member of the Manhasset Crew in Manhasset, N.Y. In rowing, Lynn medaled at the 2010 New York State Championship in the V8, competed at the Head of the Charles and the Scholastic Rowing Association of America (SRAA) Nationals in 2010 and won over 10 medals from 2009-11. Lynn was the valedictorian of her high school and was involved in several honor societies, including the National Honor Society, the National Art Honor Society, the National Science Honor Society and the National Math Honor Society. While at the University of Chicago, Lynn made Dean’s List all four years and graduated with honors. Lynn is currently a first year Master of Environmental Management (MEM) at the Nicholas School of the Environment.
Caroline Olsen was a four-year lacrosse player for Cardinal Newman High School in Healdsburg, Calif. While at Cardinal Newman, Olsen was a defender and was elected a captain during her senior year. Her accomplishments on the field include North Bay League (NBL) All-League Lacrosse First Team (junior and senior year), NBL All-League Lacrosse Honorable Mention (sophomore year), NBL Champions (2015, 2016 and 2017), California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) Scholar-Athlete (2013-17), CIF Distinguished Scholastic Team (2016 and 2017) and was undefeated in the NBL in 2015-17. Additionally, Olsen lettered three years in water polo and was named a team captain and a CIF Scholar-Athlete. Outside of athletics, Olsen was named the Associated Student Body President, Cardinal Newman Oxford Scholar, AP Scholar and the Henry Trione Four Year Leadership Award recipient. Olsen was also the founder of the Ukulele Program for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Sonoma County, a student presenter at the National Youth Leadership Conference and a TEDxCardinalNewman speaker.
Olivia Vogel comes to Duke from Las Vegas, Nev., and attended Faith Lutheran High School. While in high school, Vogel lettered four years on the golf team and two years as a member of the track team. In golf, Vogel was a three-time state champion and was a regional qualifier in the pole vault in track. Outside of athletics, Vogel was a member of the National Honor Society, Honors Institute and was involved in the robotics club.