CAMDEN, N.J. - After working through the semi-final heats on Saturday, Duke headed into Sunday's final day of races at the Knecht Cup by qualifying the varsity pair, varsity four, second varsity eight and varsity eight for the grand finals.
The morning started off strong for the team with convincing wins in the varsity quad and the varsity pair. Alex Japhet, Katie Burke, Kathryn Lowry, and Steffi Rosser won the varsity quad. Duke won the quad last year at this event. Katie Burke was a new addition to the boat. Emily Theys and Rory Erickson-Kulas is a new line-up for the Blue Devils but they worked through the 17 entries in the race and finished the grand final eight seconds ahead of their closest competitor. Rory Erickson-Kulas won the event last year as well.
After not qualifying for the grand final, the frosh/novice boat took to the water determined to have a strong performance. The Duke boat of coxswain Tammy Segal, Allison Beattie, Shaye Bastien, Shannon Sims, Lauren Jadovich, Leilani Doktor, Emily Hyland, Lauren Baumgartner, and Elizabeth Howell won the petite final by over four seconds.
"It was great for the novice boat to go up against teams from 24 other programs and compete," said assistant coach Jim Lister. "The experience gained from three intense race experiences is invaluable as we prepare for ACC's in two weeks"
The second varsity eight of coxswain Justine Hong, Laura Guth, Breanna Briede, Kathy Smithwick, Lauren Lashmet, Katy Gregor, Sydney Johnson, JJ Englander, and Tori Arendt won their heat and took third in the semi-final to qualify for the Grand Final. In the Grand Final, the Blue Devils had a very solid race body but were slow off the line and were never able to dig out of the hole finishing the race in sixth.
The varsity eight of coxswain Caroline Kiritsy, Kathryn Lowry, Katie Burke, Emily Theys, Rory Erickson-Kulas, Alex Japhet, Laura Sciarrino, Grace Cassidy, and Steffi Rosser won both their heats and semi-final to qualify for the Grand Final. The varsity eight came off the line well but lost touch during the body of the race and finished fourth overall.
"I think both the varsity eight and second varsity eight had solid performances but we need to look for more speed coming off the line and sustain the speed during the body of the race better," said head coach Robyn Horner. "These races helped us see what we need as we head into ACC's."
The strongest performance of the weekend came from Duke's varsity four of coxswain Sarah Baker, Nancy McKinstry, Lissa Glynn, Shannon Sims, and Joline Doedens. The quartet powered through a photo-finish second place to force a seven boat Grand Final. The varsity four started the final in fifth place and pulled up to finish third.
"This was phenomenal racing from the varsity four. They clawed their way to the grand final and then delivered an excellent race" said Horner.
Duke was the only program to qualify all three of their NCAA boats for the Grand Finals.
For complete results of the Knecht Cup, visit:
April 9-10, 2011
1. Duke A (7:23.09)
1. Duke (8:24.06)
1. Duke (7:23.95)
6. Duke (7:05.31)
4. Duke (6:55.31)
3. Duke (7:53.41)
The Blue Devils next competition is the ACC Championships on April 23 in Clemson, S.C.