__FRANKLIN, TENN.--At breakfast Tuesday morning, the first round of the NCAA Women's Championship set to begin at 7:33 a.m., Duke coach__Dan Brooks approached Alejandra Cangrejo one last time with the same simple question he had been asking her regularly since the team arrived in Tennessee.
How does the wrist feel?
"Fine," said Cangrejo, assuring Brooks that it was OK to keep her in the lineup for the national championship.
This despite the fact that less than two weeks earlier at the NCAA East Regional, Cangrejo had to withdraw during the first round when she aggravated a nerve playing a shot out of the rough, leaving the Blue Devils with just four players for the remainder of the event.
Eighteen holes later, "fine" was the same response the sophomore from Colombia offered well wishers, only now she had an even-par 72 score to back her up.
The question of Cangrejo's availability had caused Duke coach Dan Brooks to bring a sixth player, walk-on Irene Jung, to Vanderbilt Legends Club as a precaution. Brooks contacted Jung the day of Cangrejo's injury, informing her she needed to prepare as if she was going to be competing at the NCAA Championship. Jung traveled from her home in Canada to Nashville, and stayed with the team prior to the start of the championship, but could not actually participate in the practice rounds because she wasn't officially in the lineup.
Cangrejo played 18 holes of golf the previous Friday back on campus at Duke to test things out. Then during the two practice rounds on the Legends North course, Brooks had Cangrejo play only nine hole each day to see if she was healthy enough to compete but not do anything that might aggravate the injury.
"We never hit a shot out of the rough until the first practice round," Brooks said. "I honestly didn't know whether to have her hit one or not out of the rough. You might get out here and play a rough free round; she did almost today. Or do you save that one that takes her out for the tournament?"
Convinced she was indeed "fine," Brooks let her play and was rewarded when the team posted a one-over 289 (led by Lindy Duncan's 70) to be in second place at the end of the morning wave, one stroke back of Virginia.