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Duke rowing inks 10 for 2009-10 school year

Posted Monday, December 8, 2008

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Durham, NC – Duke University head coach Robyn Horner announced that 10 student-athletes have signed national letters of intent to row for the Blue Devils beginning in the fall of 2009.

The class includes Sarah Baker (Fairport, N.Y. – Fairport HS/Fairport Crew Club), Shaye Bastien (Newport Beach, Calif. – Corona Del Mar HS/Newport Aquatic Center), Katie Burke (Hillsborough, Fla. – Hillsborough High School), Julijana Englander (Newton, Mass. – Newton North High School/Community Rowing Inc.), Lauren Jadovich (Farmington, Conn. – Miss Porter’s School), Laura Kuhlman (Plainsboro, N.J. – Plainsboro High School South/Mercer Junior Rowing Club), Anna Sheehy (Milwaukee, Wis. – Nicolet High School/Milwaukee Rowing Club), Emily Theys (Stoughton, Mass. – Stoughton High School/Camp Randall Rowing Club), Mary Catherine Thurner (Cincinnati, Ohio – Saint Ursula Academy/Cincinnati Junior Rowing Club), Alex Todorovic-Jones (Cambridge, Mass. – Cambridge Rindge and Latin School/Community Rowing Inc.).

“We are really pleased to add such a fantastic group of individuals to our program,” stated coach Horner. “They’re all very talented students and athletes. I am confident that each of them will play a large part in our program’s striving for excellence.”

Recruiting coordinator Jim Lister stated, “The addition of this class will have a large impact on our future. We have a very hard-working, young team, so we’re excited to add this group in the future.”

At the helm of one of Duke’s boats will be Sarah Baker, who coach Horner will rely on to come in right away and take charge of a boat. Baker has been the varsity girls A-boat coxswain since the fall of her junior year and finished first at the NYSSRA State Championship in the heavyweight 4+, which earned her boat the opportunity to race at the USRowing Youth Nationals in Cincinnati, Ohio, where she placed 14th.

“Sarah does her homework when it comes to being prepared to race,” Horner said. “She is a student of the sport and looks for every edge to be successful.”

Adding early speed to the team will be Shaye Bastien. Bastien’s recent highlights include second place at the San Diego Crew Classic, second place at Southwest Regionals in V4+, and third place at Youth Nationals in V4+.

“Shaye has found early success in her career as she has vaulted to the top boat with her team” says Lister. “Shaye’s driven and goal-oriented style has given her a lot of success with her team and on the erg.”

When looking for experience, coach Horner will look to one of the top scullers in the country in Katie Burke. Her accolades are many, including: two-time winner of Women’s Youth 1X- Head of the Hooch (2007 & 2008), seventh place at 2008 Youth Nationals (1st place in petite finals) and member of 2008 US Junior National High Performance Team.

“Katie has what it takes to be a successful rower, and has proven this as a sculler as well as racing at the international level,” Lister said. “Katie is relentless when it comes to training and racing; she does double duty by racing with her teammates and racing in the single.”

Finding an energetic leader with experience will become important for the growing Duke program. Julijana Englander will help fulfill this role by utilizing her six years of rowing experience with one of the premier programs in the country at CRI.

“Julijana is a captain this year, and her team has had a tremendous amount of success at all the major regattas, including gold medal performances at the Canadian Henley and the Head of the Charles,” Lister said. “Her dedication to the sport will help those around her stay focused on the team’s goals.”

Another very dedicated rower and captain joining the class is Lauren Jadovich. “Lauren brings a wealth of experience, racing in fours and training in the single in the summer,” Lister said. Lauren’s top performance was fourth place at the NEIRA Championships last spring. “We are incredibly pleased to have Lauren join the team. She has worked with a great coach and understands the dedication required to be successful.”

Bringing more experience from a big east coast program is Laura Kuhlman from Mercer Junior Rowing Club. “Laura exhibits a great balance between hard work and team,” Horner said. “She understands the importance of dedication to her rowing, as well as to her teammates.” A lot of this years’ success stems from the communication between the Blue Devils, and Kuhlman will contribute right away.

A new rower as of June this year, but not new to sports is Anna Sheehy. “I met Anna at the Canadian Henley, and could tell she has incredible potential,” Lister said. “Here she was competing in one of the biggest and most competitive arenas in rowing. Her experience and hard work in basketball and tennis will benefit her in rowing.”

Another newcomer to the sport, but not lacking in athletic experience is Emily Theys, a swimmer, basketball and soccer player, and now rower in the last year and a half. Coach Lister remarks, “What intrigues me most about Emily is her dedication to the sport. She spent part of her summer coaching novice rowers. She is obviously determined to take her experience and master the sport.”

Large club programs have athletes that are very well-prepared for Division I rowing. Duke has members from CRI, MJRC and now CJRC with the addition of Mary Catherine Thurner. “Catherine will bring experience from one of the top programs in the US from the Cincinnati Junior Rowing Club,” Lister said. “Catherine is a very confident, well-rounded student. Her dedication to academics and athletics is exactly what we look for in a Duke student-athlete.”

Alex Todorovic-Jones is an incredibly efficient rower that rows for both Cambridge Rindge and Latin and powerhouse CRI. She was a member of the winning boat at both the Head of the Charles and the Canadian Henley. “Alex shows an incredible desire to win, and her hard work has paid off this year,” Lister said. “We will look for her to build on her success and take her rowing to an elite level.”

The Duke rowing team will welcome this group for the 2009-10 school year.

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