DURHAM, N.C. – Head coach Megan Cooke Carcagno and the Duke rowing program are excited to announce the signing of Rachel McNutt to a National Letter of Intent (NLI) to compete for the Blue Devils in the 2019-20 campaign.
McNutt comes from Beavercreek, Ohio, and currently attends Beavercreek High School. She currently competes for her club team, the Dayton Boat Club, under head coach Mike Miles and assistant coaches Mitch Vossler and Joe Connelly.
McNutt recently stroked Dayton’s coxed four to a 2nd place finish at the Head of the Hooch. While at the Hooch she also raced in six seat of the varsity eight, which finished in 5th place out of 76 crews. During her junior year, McNutt stroked the Dayton 4+ to a bronze medal at the Midwest Regional Championships and Youth National Championships. As a sophomore McNutt helped lead the varsity four to a bronze medal at the Midwest Regional Championships, which went on to finish fourth at the Youth National Championships. McNutt also earned a silver medal in the pair at Midwest Regionals as a sophomore.
A National Honor Society member, McNutt also was a member of FIRST Robotics Competition team 6936.
McNutt’s father, Ross, is a retired Air Force Lt. Colonel while her mother, Stacy, is a retired Air Force Colonel. She also has one brother named Andrew and two sisters Catherine and JoAnna. Catherine recently rowed and graduated from Ohio State University while JoAnna rowed and graduated from Cornell University.
What has been your favorite rowing memory?
RM: My favorite rowing memory is probably my first time racing at Youth Nationals in the 4+ my sophomore year. We were a very young crew with only one senior and four sophomores in the boat, and it was the first time any of us had competed on a national level. The first race was a time trial, so we couldn´t even see how we were racing compared to the rest of the crews. We knew it felt like a strong race, but we had no clue how we would do overall. As we docked, our coaches came up to us pretty excited. They told us we finished second in the time trial. We barely believed them until we saw it for ourselves. When we saw the results, all of us got really excited. None of us had known what to expect, but this exceeded anything we thought could be possible. It really gave us the confidence to keep competing with these crews that seemed so much more experienced than us, both that year and the year following.
How did you get started in rowing?
RM: My sister rowed her freshman year in high school when we lived in Boston, and then she joined Dayton Boat Club when we moved to Ohio. The summer before her senior year and my seventh grade year, she helped coach the three day learn-to-row camp the team hosted over the summer, and she brought me and my friend along. We both loved being on the water and came back for the second week-long camp that summer. I played volleyball in the fall, but I joined the novice team that winter and never left.
Why did you choose Duke?
RM: When I visited Duke, I simply fell in love with everything about the university. It is the best of both worlds with both an amazing athletic program and challenging but rewarding academic (especially engineering) programs. On one side, I get to compete on an amazing team that is really close and supportive. When I met members of the team, they were all extremely friendly and obviously loved what they do. The coaches really cared about everyone on the team and kept pushing for everyone to keep improving. I also am able to study and gain the experience needed to be an engineer while learning from one of the best engineering programs in the country. As a whole, I absolutely love how Duke provides so many opportunities to learn about the world and gain amazing experiences, both on campus and off.
Hobbies: Robotics, exploring, reading
Favorite Athlete: Simone Biles
Best advice: You only get out of life what you put in.