DURHAM, N.C. – Head coach Megan Cooke Carcagno and the Duke rowing program are excited to announce the signing of Ema Kuczura to a National Letter of Intent. Kuczura is a senior at Northside College Prep High School in Chicago, Ill.
Kuczura is a three-year letterwinner for head coach Mike Wallin and the rowing program at Northside. She is also a five-year member of the Chicago Rowing Foundation, winning the 2014 Midwest Novice Girls Championship and placing fifth at the Youth Nationals in 2016.
"The first thing that struck me about Ema was that she likes to pull hard and compete," assistant coach and recruiting coordinator Chase Graham said. "In a last minute lineup change during her junior year, she stroked her team's 2V8 to victory over a local rival and within inches of beating the V8. She is a multi-sport athlete with a background in ballet and lacrosse. She has a great internal drive to succeed and we believe she will be a great leader in the locker room. And we all hope that she can teach us how to make some Chi-town deep dish pizza!"
"I chose Duke for the amazing school with exactly my interests," Kuczura said. "It has an exciting, growing team energy and trajectory, and the coaches that made me feel respected throughout the entire recruiting process. All of these things made me want to be at Duke. I had no idea Duke was ranked so highly in public policy, which is what I’m considering majoring in. I wanted a small-to-medium sized school with a prominent policy program and, to my surprise, Duke was that school! It also helped that the two times I visited, I fell in love with the campus."
Away from rowing, Kuczura danced classical ballet for eight years and placed lacrosse for four years. She is a member of the National Honor Society, National English Honor Society, National Latin Honor Society and a Junior and Senior Leader as part of her school's athletic leadership program.
"I’m excited to continue surrounding myself with hard working, motivated people for the next four years," Kuczura said. "I think the team is going to push me to, of course, be a better athlete, but also a better student and team player. Nothing makes me more excited to row in college than thinking about the team atmosphere that will to drive me to succeed."