After spending a season planting the seeds of strong fundamentals at the expense of short-term victories, the Blue Devils are finally reaping the rewards near the end of their spring slate.
Duke tied for first at the Dale England Cup Saturday in Bloomington, Ind., against No. 14 Indiana, No. 17 Notre Dame and Navy. The Blue Devils rang in as part of a three-way tie with Notre Dame and Indiana, which the Irish won on a tiebreak. For a young team coming off of a single race victory in its last two events, the number of top finishes the squad recorded seemed a long time coming.
Duke dominated a number of the races, earning victories in both the morning and afternoon 2V8 races with times of 6:47.3 and 6:45.5 respectively, followed by victories in both V4 races from a squad of four that has consistently put together strong performances all season. The 2V8 combined to add 48 points toward the total and captured those points by the slimmest of margins, winning by 0.3 and 0.7 seconds, respectively.
The V4—featuring freshmen Rhea Bergman and Marissa Donadio—contributed 24 of the Blue Devils’ 108 total points and zipped past the competition with a time of 7:51.4 in the morning and an even faster 7:37.7 in the afternoon. Duke was a full two seconds ahead of second-place Indiana in the morning race before squeaking by Notre Dame by just seven-tenths of a second.
The Blue Devils notched third-place finishes in both the morning and afternoon sessions of the Cup's main event—the 1V8—combining for 36 points to round out their scoring. Duke's V8 boat featured the most veteran talent of any boat in its lineup, led by seniors Simone Pitre, Katie Dukovich and Alex Stonehill.
The Blue Devils are back in action Saturday as they head to Princeton, N.J., to take on the Tigers at the Princeton Duals.
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