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May 23, 2010
WEST WINDSOR, N.J. - The Duke rowing team took first place in three races during the finals of the US Rowing Collegiate Championship on Lake Mercer, including top honors in the varsity eight, varsity four and varsity pair.
The Blue Devils took first or second in all five races they entered and turned in the fastest time of the day in the varsity eight at 7:20.730. Coming off a first-place finish in the C Final at last weekend's South/Central Regionals, the Duke varsity eight finished ahead of runner-up Tulsa by more than five seconds to secure a win in their final race of the year. The group of coxswain Justine Hong, Emily Theys, Rory Erickson-Kulas, Alex Japhet, Laura Sciarrino, Kathy Smithwick, Caroline Fox, Kathryn Lowry and Stephanie Rosser capped the 2010 season with three straight victories over their last two weekends of competition.
Smithwick and Erickson-Kulas captured three gold medals for the Blue Devils on Sunday. Along with their work in the eight, the sophomore duo pulled top honors in the varsity four and the varsity pair to win every race in which they competed. In the varsity pair, the duo teamed up for a time of 8:53.665 as the only boat to finish that race in under 9:09.953. In the four, Smithwick and Erickson-Kulas joined Theys, Fox and Sarah Baker to post a first-place time of 8:02.737.