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Courtesy: Duke Sports Information
Rowing Names Howell & Kiritsy as 2013-14 Captains
Courtesy: Duke Sports Information
Release: 07/16/2013
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DURHAM, N.C. -- Duke head rowing coach Robyn Horner named seniors Elizabeth Howell and Caroline Kiritsy as the program's 2013-14 captains, assigning the two to lead a Blue Devil squad that cracked the CRCA/US Rowing Top 20 Coaches Poll last season.

Howell and Kiristy will be charged with helping Duke maintain the momentum that vaulted the Blue Devils to a third-place finish at the ACC Championships in 2013 and a second-place finish in the varsity eight at the conference final. Throughout the season, Duke topped several top-20 programs, including ACC rival Clemson twice on the Tigers' own lake.

Returning for Duke in 2013-14 will be five seniors, 12 juniors and 13 sophomores. Included in that group are reigning ACC Freshman of the Year Katie Dukovich, All-South Region selection Grace Cassidy and varsity eight stalwarts Claire Vannelli, Alex Stonehill, Tara Dalton and Hannah Hewitt. sat down with Duke's newly-named captains to get their take on what being a Duke rower - and team captain - means.

Elizabeth Howell
Atlanta, Ga.

What are you studying and what are  your career aspirations?
"I'm studying Neuroscience and Spanish, and following graduation I plan on getting a Masters in Public Health before attending medical school."

How do you balance rowing and your studies?
"I find that the busier I am, the harder I work and the more I get done. Since my freshman year I've really learned to fill the "dead" space in my day, and have gotten pretty good at using my time efficiently. That lets me be involved in other things on campus in addition to being fully committed to both my team and studies."

As a captain, What do you want to create for your team culture?
"I hope to build on the environment of accountability and work ethic that has characterized this team this year. I want to create a culture in which each athlete feels supported, within which we can motivate each other to never settle for less than our full potential."

What are your team's competitive goals?
"We just finished an incredibly competitive spring season, earning our team's highest CRCA ranking to date. Next year we hope to build on the momentum we've created and continue competing at these unprecedented levels."

How will you help your team move in this direction?
"We can accomplish this by continuing to move up in the polls and elevating our level of competition. We will also strive to retain the team environment of accountability and commitment that we have worked hard to create. A combination of strong upperclassmen leadership as well as talent across the depth of our program will characterize this team next season."


Caroline Kiritsy
West Roxbury, Mass.

What are you studying and what are  your career aspirations?
"Mechanical engineering with an aerospace certificate. I'm really interested in aircraft performance and would love to work for a company to continue to engineer more efficient and groundbreaking flight technology."

How do you balance rowing and your studies?
"Prioritizing my work. My teammates are my motivation to stay focused in the classroom because if I don't get my school work done, I won't be able to be the best teammate for them at practice. We are all truly student-athletes; we work hard in the classroom so we can work harder on the water."

As a captain, What do you want to create for your team culture?
"I want everyone (my teammates, coaches, administration, the student body, professors, potential new rowers, our competition) to know that our team is pulling out all the stops to get better and move forward. We will do everything and anything in our power to improve our minds and bodies to have the most competitive edge. Duke women's rowing has done nothing but climb in the rankings over the last few years, and we have no intention of stopping."

What are your team's competitive goals?
Breaking into the top 20 in the polls was a long overdue goal for this team; we achieved that this past spring. The next step to push into the top 15 and beyond. We need to continue to climb in the rankings this year, and we will do that by closing margins on the fastest teams in the nation. As our former assistant coach, Jim Lister, liked to remind us: we need to 'go to the speed.' Our sport continues to get better and better, and our mentality needs to be improve with our competition."
How will you help your team to move in this direction?
"I know that the goals we set can only be achieved if everyone is actively working to reach them. As captain, I want to make sure that everyone on the team feels that they have an impact, knows their role, and is comfortable communicating with the coaching staff and captains. We all need to stay on the same page and move up in the polls as a unit."