DURHAM, N.C. – The Duke rowing team is coming off a 2018 campaign that included three medalists and a third-place finish at the ACC Championships. While the accolades on the water are noteworthy, the accolades off the water are also making a big splash.
As a team, the Blue Devils earned a fall GPA of 3.54 and had 13 student-athletes named to the Duke Dean’s List, including six with distinction. “It didn’t take sacrifice in academics or athletics, you’re able to do both,” said senior Shannon Tierney, who is one of 39 Duke rowers who earned All-ACC Academic Honor Roll recognition a season ago.
The constant support system surrounding the college is a major reason why Duke athletes are able to succeed inside the classrooms. “Duke athletics has a pretty big academic support system,” said junior Kiernan Spencer. “So using resources like the K Center for study hours and for tutors have been very helpful.” Spencer is one of many Duke rowers who have earned recognition on both the All-ACC Academic Team as well as All-ACC Academic Honor Roll.
“I felt like at Duke, I had a choice of where I wanted to take my academics and in what way I wanted to experience them,” said sophomore Ema Kuczura. The rowing team credits the individual classes they are able to choose from at Duke to their success. Sophomore Bailey Knight, who chose Duke because of its academics and athletics, cites the program CAPE as a big reason why she chose Duke. “I am interested in medical school and Duke has CAPE – Collegiate Athlete Premedical Experience – and it is for female collegiate athletes here at Duke who are looking for a great way to gain experience,” said Knight.
Head coach Megan Cooke Carcagno, who enters her fourth season at the helm of Duke rowing, has coached 12 All-ACC Academic honorees and 13 CRCA Rowing Scholar Athlete recipients.
“To be successful in rowing, you have to be disciplined,” said Cooke Carcagno. “That same characteristic shows up in the classroom. It’s no surprise to me that the stronger our team becomes, the better we do in academics. Duke is a place where you truly make no compromise between getting a world class degree and rowing at a top 20 level. Our results are direct proof.”
Senior Rhea Bergman, junior Madison Brown, freshman Katarina Kern, sophomore Anne Klok, Knight, sophomore Laura Navarrete and senior Sophie Simister all earned Dean’s List recognition during the fall semester. Sophomores Leeloo Gilet, Savannah Herbek, Sarah Hubner, senior Anna Jenkins, Kuczura and Spencer all earned Dean’s List honors with distinction.
While the Blue Devil achievements on the water continue to rise, the accomplishments off it certainly paint a positive and telling picture for Duke rowing. “Our women work hard in every aspect of life, and I am proud of every single one of them,” said Cooke Carcagno.
The Blue Devils begin the season at the UVA scrimmage in Charlottesville, Va., on March 2.