DURHAM, N.C. - The Duke rowing team headed North for a full day of competition at the Princeton Chase on Lake Carnegie in Princeton, N.J. The Blue Devils raced five varsity 8+ boats, five varsity 4+ boats and a pair of novice 8+ boats, coming away with three top-five finishes over the day.
“There were some good things that Duke came away with this weekend,” head coach Megan Cooke Carcagno said. “I think our freshman 8’s raced very well. They hadn’t ever practiced their lineups, yet they went out with a mission and I think they should be proud. At the varsity level, I think the best thing we saw was depth, and that’s something we’ve never seen as a program. Of course, with that depth means selection can take a while, and I know there is more boat speed in every corner.”
The varsity 8+ boats kicked off the competition first Sunday, with Duke’s top varsity 8+ notching a sixth-place finish in a time of 14:44.560. The Blue Devils’ A boat of coxswain Tara Fagan, Sydney Johnson, Olivia Mendonca, Isabel Ruby-Hill, Shannon Tierney, Caitlyn Carlisle, Gabriella Salvati, Lelia Boley and Olivia Von Stauffenberg finished behind only the boats of Princeton, Brown and Minnesota.
The Blue Devils’ C boat clocked out at 15:42.754 to earn a 13th-place finish while the B boat took 24th with a time of 16:07.070. Rounding out varsity 8+ competition for Duke were the Blue Devils’ E boat which finished 30th with a time of 16:25.974, and the D boat which placed 40th with a time of 17:12.976.
The Blue Devils’ top varsity 4+ boat secured a fourth-place finish in a time of 17:16.010. The crew of coxswain Tara Fagan, Lelia Boley, Olivia Mendonca, Shannon Tierney and Isabel Ruby-Hill finished behind only the boats of Princeton and Rutgers to earn their top-five finish.
Duke’s B boat in the varsity 4+ finished just outside of the top 10, placing 11th with a time of 17:50.080, while the C boat posted a time of 17:59.538 to earn an 18th-place finish. Closing out varsity 4+ competition for the Blue Devils were the D boat which finished 29th with a time of 18:34.198, and the E boat which clocked out at 19:02.608 to place 35th.
Duke’s novice 8+ crews saw great success Sunday, with each boat notching a top-five finish. The Blue Devils’ top novice 8+ crew of coxswain Eden Schumer, Sydney Johnson, Gabriella Salvati, Katarina Kern, Amelia Johnson, Olivia Von Stauffenberg, McKendree Densel, Elizabeth Butero and Amelia Shunk finished behind only Princeton with a time of 16:04.272 to earn their second-place finish. Rounding out the competition for the Blue Devils was Duke’s second novice 8+ crew finished only two spots behind, placing fourth with a time of 17:20.116.
“I think the best thing that came out of this weekend was that the team was in no way satisfied,” Cooke Carcagno added. “I could sense that from everyone, and that hunger to perform will carry us far. It’s now just a matter of putting our heads down and really trusting the process—hard work and team before self. I never frown upon early season losses, as it gives us a chance to change our game. For a third of our team, this was their first race on the collegiate level. We’ll improve from here with the great team we have and the energy we harness from unification. Thanks to Carnegie Lakers and Princeton for putting on such a great event.”
The Blue Devils will return to competition next weekend, traveling to Chattanooga, Tenn., for the Head of the Hooch on Saturday, Nov. 3.