Duke rowing racks up key victories despite difficult conditions at ACC/Big 10 Double Dual

The 2V8 boat was one of multiple victories for the Blue Devils on the day.
The 2V8 boat was one of multiple victories for the Blue Devils on the day.

Rain and clouds covered the sky above Griggs Reservoir as No. 15 Duke prepared to take on No. 12 Ohio State and No. 9 Michigan. Though they entered the meet as underdogs, the Blue Devils walked away from Columbus, Ohio with several notable triumphs.

“It really was not easy conditions,” head coach Megan Cooke Carcagno admitted. “And our team managed to not only race well, but to come up with a few very key wins against highly ranked opponents, I think that shows a lot of readiness.”

The morning session was defined by strong headwinds, continuous downpours and rain delays. Duke faced five head-to-head matchups with Ohio State and — even under the tough weather — rowed to a victory in three. First the 3V8 boat took home a win with a time of 6:55.10. Then the 2V4, manned by just two freshmen and three sophomores, cruised to victory with a time of 7:47.10. A close race with the Buckeyes threatened the success of the 2V8, but the boat ultimately rounded out the morning’s victories with a first-place time of 6:58.00.

In the afternoon, the Blue Devils took on the Michigan Wolverines for another five races. With a time of 7:20.20, the 3V8 again cruised to victory — this time with sophomore Scarlet Perry filling a seat for freshman Mikaela Voinov. The 2V8 boat also delivered another first-place finish, rowing a 6:54.20 to defeat the Wolverines. Senior Brenna Morley was instrumental in stroking the boat to both of its victories.

“I was super impressed with the 3V8 and our 2V8 winning both of their races against two highly-ranked opponents,” Carcagno said. “Our depth and our success for the year is really engraved in those performances.”

But it was the V4’s afternoon win that she pointed out as an especially impressive race. The boat posted a 7:51.50 to record victory over Michigan, aided by a range of experience and energy in its five-athlete lineup: a freshman, two sophomores, a senior and a grad student. 

“The varsity four winning against Michigan was really big. It had a new lineup, it hadn’t rowed together before,”  Carcagno said. “Michigan’s always shown a ton of depth in their fours group. So to get that win and that varsity boat after it had lost that morning was a real testament to the type of athlete we have on our team right now.”

In the end, the team’s solid performances under less-than-ideal weather conditions showed a depth of strength and determination that bodes well for future performance.

“There was a huge amount of togetherness today,” Carcagno said. “Just a lot of resilience. That’s something that we’ve been really focusing on in practice and it played out today really nicely.”

Duke rowers will be back on the water April 19-20 at the Big Ten Invitational in Sarasota, Fla., where they will look to continue their success against more highly-ranked teams. 


Share and discuss “Duke rowing racks up key victories despite difficult conditions at ACC/Big 10 Double Dual” on social media.