Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Rooting For Donn Cabral

Tomorrow is the last day of June, which means it'll be the exact halfway point of 2015.

Think about what you did on New Year's Eve. That was exactly six months ago. Does it seem like that long ago?

The other day was the halfway point between Christmas 2014 and Christmas 2015. June 25th, to be exact, which was last Thursday.

When do you think you'll see your first ad for the new Christmas season? Before opening day of the NFL?

When you're a kid, you're aware of when your half-birthday is, even if it's not that big a deal. It's not like it was good for any presents or anything.

What it was big for was adding the "and a half" to your age when someone asked you how old you were. How old are you? Last week you said seven. Now you say "seven and a half."

It's a big moment.

TigerBlog thinks the slowest time of the year is the time that's about to be upon us, the Fourth of July until the start of the new school year. It's a relaxing summer respite from the busy every day week-to-week season-to-season grind of the school year.

The fastest time of the year is from Halloween to New Year's. Then it slows again a little.

Halloween to New Year's is a total sprint. Halloween to Thanksgiving to Christmas to New Year's. One after the other.

This year, those holidays will be followed by 2016, which will feature, among other things, the next Presidential election. There's a lot at stake for the country in the next election, and yet it will deteriorate into what it always does, with an endless number of primaries, debates, ads and all the rest of it, with the long crawl until Election Day in November. It'll seem like a thousand years have gone by from the summer of 2015 until Election Day 2016.

As an aside, not to get political or anything, but going to Dartmouth for football or basketball in a Presidential election cycle is always interesting, because of the New Hampshire Primary and the importance it plays. There's always something going on at Dartmouth it seems.

Anyway, another big part of 2016 will be the Summer Olympic Games, which will be held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, beginning Aug. 5.

TigerBlog is rooting hard for Donn Cabral to be there again.

Cabral is the 2012 Princeton grad who won the NCAA steeplechase championship his senior year. Then he went on qualify for the Olympics in London and then reach the final, where he led for awhile before finishing eighth.

Cabral competed at the U.S. Track and Field Championships in Oregon this past weekend, as did five other Princeton alums. Cabral finished second in the steeplechase, running an 8:13.37, leaving him 1.08 seconds behind Evan Jager, who was the other American in the 2012 Olympics, where he finished sixth.

TigerBlog knows next to nothing about track and field and how it works and what times mean what.

He does know this: Had Cabral run the time he just ran in Oregon in the 2012 Olympic final, he would have won gold - by more than five seconds.

Yes, this is not an apples to apples comparison. Still, Cabral is getting faster, no? His time to finish eighth in Londan was 8:25.91, or 12.54 seconds slower than he ran last weekend.

TigerBlog has talked to Cabral twice, he thinks. Once was for a feature story for the football game program, and TB still has the thank you note that Cabral sent him.

That seems to be the kind of person he is. 

He's not the most imposing physical presence. That's for sure. He doesn't overwhelm you with bravado or anything like that.

He just comes across as a nice guy, one who is very serious about what he's doing and - very, very good at it.

Plus, as TB has said many times before, watching him train on the Weaver Stadium track when he was a senior was a daily event, one that drew the attention of anyone who happened to casually glance at Cabral as he ran.

Anyway, the 2016 Olympics are not exactly around the corner. First are the World Championships in Beijing in August. Then there is still most of a year until Olympic qualifying.

TigerBlog will be rooting for him. That's for sure.

How can he not?

After all, Donn Cabral is pretty much everything that is good with Princeton Athletics. 

No comments: