DURHAM, N.C. – Senior Tara Christensen is currently a senior on the Duke rowing team and has experienced much adversity at the collegiate level.
“Tara has severe complications in her hips, and has had several reconstructive surgeries to fix them,” head coach Megan Cooke Carcagno said. “She can barely run, has a significant limp, yet has never given up the desire to row and lead our team. She’s a senior, captain and a contributing member of our second varsity eight. She is one of the most passionate team members this team has seen. I don’t think anything could stop her from wanting to find success, even if she had to crawl towards it.” After missing much of the 2015-16 campaign due to injury, Christensen competed in all six regattas during the 2016-17 season as a member of the V4 and 2V8 boats. Christensen started the year with nearly an 11-second victory at the Carolina Cup with a time of 7:27.1 in the V4 to help the Blue Devils win the Carolina Cup with 99 overall points and a sweep of all five races. Christensen helped guide the Blue Devils to seven top-five finishes throughout the season including fourth place in the ACC Championship Grand Final.
As a senior, the Nanaimo, British Columbia, native opened the 2018 spring slate with an impressive performance at the Carolina Cup on Lake Hartwell. The Blue Devils faced off against host Clemson and North Carolina and won all five races on the way to the crown for the second consecutive year, claiming the V8, 2V8, 3V8, V4 and 2V4 races.
Christensen helped guide the Blue Devils to a seventh-place finish at the highly competitive Clemson Invitational as unranked Duke bested No. 18 Syracuse and No. 20 Oklahoma in the team standings before going on to defeat No. 15 Michigan State in the V8, 2V8, V4 and 2V4 races in Columbus, Ohio.
Outside of rowing, Christensen was a member of the inaugural class of the Rubenstein-Bing Student-Athlete Civic Engagement (ACE) Program in the summer of 2016, when she traveled to Vietnam to teach academics, sports and life skills to middle school children in a summer-camp setting. Christensen was also recently awarded “Comeback Athlete” at the sixth annual Duke Athletics Student-Athlete Talent and Recognition Show (STARS).