DURHAM, N.C. – Head coach Megan Cooke Carcagno and the Duke rowing program are excited to announce the signing of Emilie Lijesen to a National Letter of Intent (NLI) to compete for the Blue Devils in the 2019-20 campaign.
Lijesen comes to Durham from Edina, Minn., and currently attends Edina High School. She is a member of the Twin Cities Youth Rowing Club, under the direction of head coach Rebecca Newman. Lijesen helped her crew earn a second-place finish in the women’s junior 2K at the Twin Cities Erg Sprints this past season.
A multi-sport athlete, Lijesen also competed for her high school soccer team, where she lettered in both 2017 and 2018 as a defender. She helped her varsity soccer squad to a state appearance in 2017, and served as a senior varsity captain during her final prep campaign.
Aside from sports, Lijesen is also a member of the band at Edina High School, lettering in 2017 as a trumpet player. She served as the Principal Trumpet in the Concert Band at EHS, and earned a superior rating in the MMEA Solo Contest.
Lijesen was born in The Hague, The Netherlands, before making the move to the states, and is the daughter of Arnout and Annelies Lijesen. She has one brother, Benno, and one sister, Florine.
What has been your favorite rowing memory?
EL: “My favorite rowing memory was last year racing at Midwest. I was in a 4 with all seniors (I was a junior) so it would be close to the last time racing with them. We had been working hard all winter in our boathouse and only got to have 7 water practices before Midwest because our lake defrosted so late (living in MN). We were all nervous because we hadn’t practiced the line up to much on the water. But we proved to ourselves that our hard work in the winter was worth it and we did the best we could. Although we did not advance, it has been my favorite memory because it really showed me that you always need to put in your hardest work if you want to perform the best you can. I’m thankful we all went through the long winter of indoor training together.”
How did you get started in rowing?
EL: “Both of my parents rowed at Delft University of Technology in The Netherlands and my grandma and aunt both rowed as well. My best friends' parents also rowed and her sister rows so we started the team together to try it out. I had also heard it was a great sport for tall people, so being 6’2” I knew I had to try it out.”
Why did you choose Duke?
EL: “I went to their crew camp this summer and absolutely loved everything about it. I also went on a campus tour and loved everything about the school. Going to the camp gave me an idea of what it would be like to row on the lake and be coached by the DWR coaches, it was a great experience. The coaches are super supportive and hardworking and I can’t wait to be coached by all of them. The Duke Rowing Team also has very strong team chemistry and support for each other in the boat as well as out of the boat which really stood out to me, and is a community I really want to be a part of.”
Hobbies: Soccer, skiing, traveling, anything outside (hiking, camping, fishing), biking, shopping, and going to sports games
Favorite athlete: Lindsey Vonn
Best advice you’ve ever received: “Only hard work will get you closer to where you want to be.”