Thursday, February 18, 2016

Three Days At DeNunzio

By the time the rowing championships end in the spring, the Ivy League will have awarded champions in 33 different sports, as it does every year.

Right now, the winner has been decided in 13 of those sports. There have been nine outright champions, one co-championship and three tri-championships.

Princeton has won seven championships to date: field hockey, women's soccer, women's cross country and women's hockey outright, women's volleyball co-champion and men's and women's fencing tri-champion.

As for the rest of the league, three other schools are tied with three Ivy titles each to date.

Ivy championships are interesting things. As you know, they are not all awarded in the same manner  - round robins, double round robins, championship meets - and it can take anywhere from a few minutes (cross country) to two different calendar years (hockey) to win one.

One thing TigerBlog likes is that the regular-season champ is considered the champ, even in situations like lacrosse where there is a tournament. And if there is a tie, then there are co-champs, as opposed to a tie-breaker. 

Now, TigerBlog knows what people say about this. It depends, TB supposes, if your team would have won the tiebreaker.

The fact that 13 Ivy sports have crowned their champions means that there are seven more for the winter and then 13 in the spring.

The men's hockey championship figures to be between Harvard and Yale, with the Crimson one point up with one league game each left (Harvard vs. Cornell, Yale vs. Princeton). The basketball races are basically between two teams on the women's side (Princeton trails Penn by one game) and three on the men's side (Princeton and Yale with a huge one tomorrow night, with Columbia hoping for a Princeton win).

There are three to be decided next weekend, when the indoor track and field Heps are at Cornell and the men's swimming and diving championships are at Brown.

And that leaves women's swimming and diving, which will be held at DeNunzio Pool. It actually starts today, with preliminaries at 11 and finals at 6, and continues with the same schedule tomorrow and Saturday.

TigerBlog doesn't know much about swimming and diving, other than in championship meets it's all about depth and figuring out ways to maximize points. It is, he understands, quite a challenging puzzle to put together.

Princeton is the defending champ. The Tigers rallied a year ago from a big deficit on the final day, but TigerBlog isn't sure if that's the same as a big rally in a football or basketball game. It could be that the Tigers knew that they had big points coming up. TB isn't sure.

You know who would know? Princeton head coach Susan Teeter. The championship last year was her 16th at Princeton. There aren't too many Ivy League coaches who have won more in any sport.

As for the chase for her 17th, Yale went undefeated in the dual meet season, swimming and diving is one sport that awards its title to the winner of the championship meet, not the dual meets.

It figures to be a three-way battle between Princeton, Yale and Harvard.

If you want to know all about it, TigerBlog will refer you to two things his colleague Craig Sachson did in advance of the meet that will give you any and all information you need:

* women's swimming and diving preview story
* women's swimming and diving video

One thing TigerBlog does know about the meet is that he will be one of the presenters of the awards after one of the races, something he will be honored to do.

TB's event, as it were, is the 100 backstroke. He'll be rooting hardest for Princeton in that event.

It figures to be another competitive championship weekend at DeNunzio. If you're going to basketball, you might want to check out some of the swim meet as well.

Some of the best celebration pictures and videos you'll ever see come from after the swimming and diving championships. You've seen them. Everyone's in the pool. The coaches get tossed in in their clothes.

It'll come Saturday night at DeNunzio.

Will it be Princeton, Harvard or Yale?

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