Monday, June 15, 2015

On The End Of The Streak

Any longish-time Princeton men's basketball fan remembers the 1990 game at the Palestra against Penn.

That was the night that Hassan Duncombe tipped in a missed foul shot to give the Quakers a one-point lead. While he was doing that, TigerBlog was about 25 miles away, in Glassboro, watching Trenton State (now the College of New Jersey) play Glassboro State (now Rowan).

As it would happen, that would be the last Princeton-Penn game TigerBlog would miss for awhile. It wouldn't be until 2011 that he would another one, in fact.

If he's adding right, that's a streak of 42 straight games in the rivalry. Two per year for 20 years, plus the 1996 playoff game and the first game of the 2010-11 season.

For awhile, TigerBlog though his streak would never end.

He's working on a good one now. He hasn't missed a Princeton men's lacrosse game since the game at Johns Hopkins in 2004. He missed that one to go to Dartmouth for men's basketball, as the Tigers wrapped up the Ivy League championship that night.

If he's adding this one right, then he's seen each of the last 173 games Princeton has played.

That's a good one, as he said.

Probably the most-asked question of TigerBlog these days is what is he going to do when TigerBlog Jr. is playing at Sacred Heart next year. Will he go watch him play or watch Princeton?

Hey, as far as streaks go, how about the one you're currently reading. TigerBlog hasn't missed a day here since 2008. Every business day, that is. Hasn't missed one.

Not for anything. Illness. Vacation. Surgeries. Doesn't matter.

Again, that's a good streak.

Just like his Penn-Princeton streak ended, so too will his lacrosse one and his blogging one. Someday, they will both end.

When they do, he'll be left to think back to them and marvel at the consistency over a long period of time way more than he'll be left to think that they ended.

And that is the moral of today's story.

The 2014-15 athletic year at Princeton has come and gone. There are no more events to be contested.

And so, for the first time since the 1970-71 academic year, Princeton Athletics did not have a team or individual national champion.

It was a remarkable streak, one of the most remarkable in college sports, really.

Each year, year after year, somebody would win a national championship. In many years, it was more than one.

Two years ago, for instance, there were four.

Yes, the streak included many years where non-NCAA championships continued the run. Squash. Rowing.

But so what? They were all legitimate varsity national championships.

A year ago, Julia Ratcliffe extended it to 43 straight years with her hammer throw win. She came close this year as well, finishing second. And it took an NCAA championship event record to beat her.

A year ago, Princeton also had its streak of 27 straight years of winning the Ivy League's all-sports unofficial championship end. Guess what? The sun came up on 2014-15 anyway.

And what happened? Princeton came back and won it again.

Will Princeton start a new national championship streak next year? Maybe, maybe not.

None of that really matters now.

So don't lament the end of the streak. Instead, marvel at what it took to sustain it for 43 straight years. Year after year after year.

And so, once again, here is the streak:

2014 - Julia Ratcliffe (women's hammer throw)
2013 - field hockey, Eliza Stone (women's sabre fencing), Peter Callahan/Russell Dinkins/Austin Hollimon/Michael Williams (men's indoor track and field distance medley relay), combined team fencing
2012 - men's squash, Donn Cabral (3,000 meter steeplechase)
2011 - Todd Harrity (squash), women's open rowing (1st varsity 8)
2010 – men’s lightweight rowing
2009 – men’s lightweight rowing, women’s squash
2008 – women’s squash
2007 – women’s squash
2006 – women’s open rowing (1st varsity 8), Yasser El Halaby (squash),
2005 – Yasser El Halaby (squash)
2004 – Yasser El Halaby (squash)
2003 – women’s lightweight rowing, women’s lacrosse, Yasser El Halaby (squash)
2002 – women’s lightweight rowing, women’s lacrosse, Tora Harris (indoor and outdoor high jump)
2001 – women’s lightweight rowing, men’s lacrosse, Soren Thompson (epee fencing), David Yik (men’s squash
2000 – women’s lightweight rowing, Eva Petchnigg (foil fencing), Julia Beaver (women’s squash), Peter Yik (men’s squash
1999 – women’s squash, women’s lightweight rowing, Julia Beaver (women’s squash), Peter Yik (men’s squash)
1998 – men’s lacrosse, men’s heavweight rowing, men’s lightweight rowing, women’s squash
1997 – men’s lacrosse, Katherine Johnson (women’s squash)
1996 – men’s lacrosse, men’s lightweight rowing, men’s heavyweight rowing, Max Pekarev (saber fencing)
1995 – women’s open rowing
1994 – men’s lacrosse, women’s lacrosse, men’s lightweight rowing, women’s open rowing, Harald Winkmann (epee fencing)
1993 – men’s squash, women’s open rowing
1992 – men’s lacrosse
1991 – women’s squash
1990 – women’s open rowing, men’s swimming 200-yard medley relay (Mike Ross, Ty Nelson, Leroy Kim, Erik Osborn)
1989 – men’s lightweight rowing , women’s squash, Demer Holleran (women’s squash), Jeff Stanley (men’s squash), men’s swimming 200-yard medley relay (Mike Ross, Ty Nelson, Rich Korhammer, Rob Musslewhite)
1988 – men’s lightweight rowing, Jeff Stanley (men’s squash)
1987 – Demer Holleran (women’s squash)
1986 – men’s lightweight rowing, Demer Holleran (women’s squash)
1985 – men’s heavyweight rowing
1984 – women’s squash
1983 – women’s squash
1982 – men’s squash
1981 – women’s squash, John Nimik (men’s squash)
1980 – women’s squash
1979 – women’s squash
1978 - women’s squash
1977 – men’s squash
1976 – women’s squash, Nancy Gengler (women’s squash)
1975 – women’s squash, men’s squash, Wendy Zaharko (women’s squash)
1974 – women’s squash, men’s squash, Wendy Zaharko (women’s squash)
1973 – women’s squash, Cathy Corcione (100 butterfly, 100 free), 200-yard freestyle relay (Cathy Corcione, Jane Fremon, Barb Franks, Carol Brown)
1972 – Wendy Zaharko (women’s squash), Charlie Campbell (200-yard backstroke)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Table tennis won the women's team and doubles championships! As long as we're counting non-NCAA sports, might as well include them >_>