The 24th-ranked women's crew team raced to a second place finish at the Jessop-Whittier Cup Petite Final in San Diego this weekend. The Duke Varsity Eight participated in this 14-team invitation-only event after last year's committee won the Cal Cup at the 2002 San Diego Crew Classic.
A team consisting of Jessi Batzell, Amelia Booth, Katie Lakin, Joanna Hingle, Natalie Zervas, Mae Joyce Gay, Abby Hawkins, Kim Bailey, and Missy Buckmiller remained in a heated battle with Tennessee until the final 500m, when the Volunteers edged out Duke by a mere 0.22 seconds. Duke's final time for Sunday's race was 6:46.89. The Blue Devils beat Clemson by about five seconds.
Duke found itself in fourth place early in the contest with a split time of 1:43.09 after the first leg of the 2000m race. It then gained momentum in the second leg when it raced to a time of 1:40.02, which put the team in third place, behind Tennessee and Minnesota. The Blue Devils then gained the lead in the third 500m leg when they recorded a split-time of 1:43.04, which was just 0.2 seconds ahead of Tennessee. They were unable to maintain the lead, however, and the Volunteers sneaked away with the very close victory.
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