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April 11, 2013
GREENSBORO, N.C. (theACC.com) - Duke’s First Varsity Eight crew which captured sixth place in the Grand Final of the San Diego Crew Classic in San Diego Calif., was named by the Atlantic Coast Conference as its ACC Crew of the Week on Thursday.
Composed of junior coxswain Caroline Kiritsky (West Roxbury, Mass.), junior Grace Cassidy (New Fairfield, Conn.), sophomore Claire Vanelli (London, Ontario, Canada), senior Emily Theys (Stoughton, Wis.), freshman Katie Dukovich (Pittsburgh, Pa.), sophomore Tara Dalton (Woodlands, Texas), senior Laura Sciarrino (Buffalo, N.Y.), freshman Alex Stonehill (Norwalk, Conn.) and freshman Hannah Hewitt (Longwood, Fla.), the Duke First Varsity Eight posted a season’s best time of 6:35.11 to finish third in its heat on Saturday, trailing only then No. 6-ranked and now No. 1-ranked Southern California and No. 2 California to qualify for the Grand Final. The Blue Devils bested 14th-ranked Wisconsin, Purdue and Iowa in that race.
Duke then posted a time of 6:41.23 in the Grand Final on Sunday to finish 6th behind five Top 10 teams in Southern California, California, Virginia (previously No. 1), No. 7 Washington and No. 9 UCLA.
The win, combined with a strong effort by Duke’s First Varsity Four boat, helped vault Coach Robyn Horner’s team into the Collegiate Rowing Coaches Association (CRCA) Top 20 this week at No. 20. The national ranking is the first for Duke in the CRCA national poll since March 9, 2005.
For the first time in league history, three ACC squads are ranked nationally this week with Virginia at No. 3 followed by 14th-ranked Clemson and 20th-ranked Duke.
The Blue Devils First Varsity Eight earned ACC Crew of the Week honors over the Second Varsity Eight crew from Boston College (7:48.9), which defeated MIT in a dual meet last Saturday on the Charles River in Boston, and the Virginia First Varsity Eight crew, which finished third in the Grand Final (6:28.71) at the San Diego Crew Classic behind only Southern California and California.
Duke will next be in action on April 21 at the Clemson Invitational on Lake Hartwell in Clemson, S.C., which will also be the site of the 2013 ACC Rowing Championship will be held on Sunday, May 12.