CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - The Duke rowing team opened its fall campaign over the weekend, sending a pair of boats into action at the 54th annual Head of the Charles in Cambridge, Mass.
First up was the club 4 boat, which kicked off competition Saturday afternoon, capturing a fifth-place finish in a time of 19:05.855. The Blue Devils were led by sophomore coxswain Leeloo Gilet along with the freshman foursome of Amelia Shunk, Gabriella Salvati, Grace Butero and McKendree Densel, and trailed only Marist, Tennessee, Dartmouth and Penn in a field of 54 boats.
“We are excited to have medaled in the Women’s Club 4+ this year with our freshmen,” said assistant coach Kendall Schmidt. “They executed a solid performance, represented the team well and proved the strength and depth of the freshmen class. Gilet did a great job steering a sharp course and leading the boat.”
Closing the weekend for Duke was the championship 8 boat, which competed Sunday afternoon. The squad was led by coxswain Tara Fagan, stroke Sydney Johnson, Katherine Lustig, Isabel Ruby-Hill, Shannon Tierney, Katarina Kern, Caitlyn Carlisle, Lelia Boley and Olivia Mendonca, registering a time of 18:17.272 to earn a 19th-place finish.
“This was our first race of the year, so we learned some things about what we need to do going forward to be better,” said associate head coach Chase Graham. “We had some strong sections on the course today, but we need to do a better job of being more consistent throughout. The athletes know what went well and what needs attention. We are capable of going much faster. I will say coxswain Tara Fagan did an excellent job today and should be recognized for that. We are all looking forward to getting back to work Tuesday as we prep for the Chase next weekend in Princeton, N.J.”.
The Blue Devils will return to competition next weekend, traveling to Princeton, N.J., for the Princeton Chase on Sunday, Oct. 28.