DURHAM, N.C. – The No. 17 Duke rowing team earned an at large bid to the NCAA Rowing Championship for the second time in school history Tuesday evening, and will compete at the Indianapolis Rowing Center at Eagle Creek Park, Ind., from May 31 to June 2.
“It feels great,” said head coach Megan Cooke Carcagno. “Our women worked really hard this year and we are excited to get the opportunity to keep racing.”
The Blue Devils are three days removed from a record breaking ACC Championship, where they finished second with a school record 90 total points, just five points shy of first place Virginia. Duke captured its first gold medal in school history Saturday, as the V4 boat clocked a first place time of 7:22.300, giving Duke the overall lead with just two Grand Finals to go. The Blue Devils garnered four silver medals - also a school record at one ACC Championship – to go along with their gold. Cooke Carcagno earned ACC Coach of the Year – the second of her career – while freshman Amelia Shunk was named ACC Freshman of the Year. Seniors Isabel Ruby-Hill and Sophie Simister were given All-ACC First Team nods, while junior Tara Fagan received All-ACC Second Team.
Duke was an at-large selection to the field of 22 schools. Among the 11 at-large winners were Brown, California, Harvard, Indiana, Iowa, Ohio State, Rutgers, Stanford, Wisconsin and Yale.
The 11 programs that earned automatic bids by winning their conference championships were Central Florida (AAC), Gonzaga (WCC), Marist (MAAC), Michigan (Big 10), Navy (Patriot), Northeastern (CAA), Princeton (Ivy), Rhode Island (A-10), Texas (Big 12), Virginia (ACC) and Washington (Pac-12).
Duke enters the championship as the 16th seed in the V8, 11th seed in the 2V8 and the 7th seed in the V4. The V4 seven-seed is the highest seed of any boat for the Blue Devils ever at the NCAA Championship.
The Blue Devils last competed in the NCAA Championship in 2016 in Gold River, Calif. That season, Duke placed 17th overall and won two C Finals with the V4 and 2V8 boats.
Competition begins Friday, May 31 with starting times to be determined.