DURHAM, N.C. – Head coach Megan Cooke Carcagno and the Duke rowing program are pleased to announce the signing of Morgan Linsley to compete for the Blue Devils in the 2019-20 season.
Linsley comes to Duke’s campus from Princeton, N.J., and currently attends Princeton High School. She currently competes at PNRA Mercer Club for head coach Matthew Carlsen.
Linsley is currently the five-seat for her club team's varsity eight, who earned fifth-place at the Head of Charles Regatta in Boston, Mass. She also represented the United States in the CanAmMex regatta, earning first-place in the women's eight event.
Before high school, Linsley participated in swimming where she competed in the Junior Olympics. She currently serves as the President of the PHS Crew Club, where she teaches other students about rowing while also working with novices who go to her school. Linsley has played piano for the past 13 years and has performed in multiple recitals. She plans on auditioning to perform in Carnegie Hall. Linsley is an avid singer and is a member of the Princeton High School top choir, which is touring Austria and Hungary this February.
Linsley is the daughter of Dustin Linsley and Heidi Applegate and also has one brother named Tanner.
What has been your favorite rowing memory?
ML: My favorite rowing memory is from the spring of my sophomore year. I was in our 2v racing at the Saratoga Invite, which is only a 1500-meter race. Halfway through the race, we were sitting a full boat length off of the team in second. This same team had beat us by quite a lot at a race earlier on in the season. In most races, we do not start our sprint until about 400 meters left. Our coxswain called for our sprint to start with about 650 meters to go, she had misread one of the buoy markers and thought we were closer than we were. However, this ended up working in our favor. For the last 600 or so meters of that race, my boat gave it everything we had. Not only did we close the boat length of open water between us and the other boat, but we actually walked all the way through them, coming in second. That race is still my favorite out of all the ones I have been to since then, because it was the day I learned how far I could truly push myself.
How did you get started in rowing?
ML: I was a competitive swimmer for nine years, starting at age five, until I ended up with a knee injury in 8th grade. After taking most of that year off to recover, I felt I would not be able to compete at the same level as I had before. So I decided that it was time to try something new. My knee doctor's husband was the Princeton men's crew coach, and she would continuously tell me how I would make a great rower because of my height and athletic background. Since I was looking for something new, I thought I would give rowing a try. After going to an interest meeting at the boathouse and talking with the head coach, I learned that rowing could be the perfect sport for me to switch into. After my first novice season, I knew that there would be no going back. Because there is simply nothing else out there quite like the feeling of pushing yourself as hard as you can with a boat full of your teammates and friends.
Why did you choose Duke?
ML: I could probably write an essay on why I chose Duke, but I will try and limit it to the top two reasons. The first being that as soon as I walked onto the campus, I felt right at home. The atmosphere and school spirit was exactly what I was looking for. There is no other college out there with such a welcoming group of students that have so much love for their school, it was exactly where I wanted to be for the next four years. The second reason is the absolutely amazing coaching staff. When I was going through the recruiting process, the greatest advice I got was from my summer rowing coach. He told me that if I immediately click with the head coach, then I will have found my team. The day that I met Coach Cooke was the day I knew I was going to row for Duke.
Hobbies: “I like to knit, do origami, play both the piano and ukulele, surfing, and hiking.”
Favorite athlete: “My favorite athlete is Michael Phelps.”
Best advice you’ve ever received: “The best advice I’ve ever received is ‘Any problem can be solved with a little ingenuity.’”