Thursday, May 18, 2017

One Of The Greatest Coaches In Princeton History

TigerBlog writes today about one of the all-time greatest coaches in Princeton history.

First, though, the weather. 

Ah, spring.

Three months? Forget that. It was a wonderful 36 hours, wasn't it?

Spring rolled into the greater Princeton metropolitan area Monday around 6. It was simply beautiful out, with clear skies, temps right at 70, no humidity, a nice gentle breeze. Before that, it had been freezing around here for weeks.

It lasted all the way until yesterday morning, when the blast furnace was turned up and summer arrived. It was in the 90s yesterday and will be again today, before dipping down to the high 80s tomorrow.

TigerBlog used to love having one spring day after another. Back when he was a kid, there was a window in his kitchen that opened by pushing out a thin metal rod that snapped into place when the window was completely open. When you closed the window, you pulled the rod back in and then turned it 90 degrees to the right to lock it.

One of TB's favorite memories of his house was pushing out that window on nice spring days and letting the fresh air inside. He can still see the window, to the right of the stove, and the blue skies beyond it, stretching out over the line of trees that started a 200 or so yards up the block and ended in his back yard.

It was exactly what spring is supposed to be - rejuvenating.

TigerBlog isn't sure if his brother has the same memory of the kitchen. Maybe. Does BrotherBlog also remember that he told TB when they were in college that when he opened his windows in his dorm for the first time post-winter it reminded him of the kitchen back home?

TB doubts it. But BrotherBlog will check in at some point. He's taken to binge-reading, TB thinks, so it may be a few days.

Anyway, those days used to be in March. Not anymore.

Actually, as TB thinks about it, the nicest weather for any Princeton men's lacrosse game this year was back on Feb. 25 against Hofstra. April? A series of cold, rainy Saturdays. May? Even colder.

Until earlier this week, anyway. TB thinks it's supposed to calm down a bit and get to the 70s, which might actually be spring-like. TB will believe it when he sees it.

As for the spring athletic season, here's what it comes down to for Princeton:

* women's golfer Maya Walton competes this weekend at the NCAA championships outside Chicago. Walton is the third Princeton women's golfer to advance to the championships, joining Mary Moan in 1997 and Kelly Shon in 2014.

* the women's lacrosse team plays at Penn State Sunday at 1 in the NCAA quarterfinals. Princeton lost to Penn State 13-8 back in March in a game that will have next-to-no bearing on the game Sunday. The game can be seen live on the Big Ten Network and on BTN2GO.

* the final list of track and field athletes who will be advancing to the NCAA regional at the University of Kentucky will be out today. It's hard to know exactly how many Princetonians will be on the list, but it figures to be close to 20. Definitely making the trip to the Blue Grass State will be Julia Ratcliffe, who is chasing a second NCAA championship in the hammer throw.

* the softball team left early yesterday (as in the bus came at 4:30 am) to head out to the NCAA regional at Florida State. It'll be the Tigers and Seminoles at 7 tomorrow night, and you can see it on ESPNU. The other teams in the regional are Georgia and Jacksonville State.

* the rowing teams will be competing in the national championships within the next few weeks, with an average trip of 1,505 miles to get there. The women's open will compete about 10 miles away at Mercer County Park next weekend in the NCAA championships. The women's lightweights and men's heavyweights and lightweights will be in Sacremento June 2-4 for the IRA championships.

That's what's left for the 2016-17 season.

TigerBlog would like to finish today by talking a little about the women's open rowers, and their remarkable coach, Lori Daupiny.

Princeton won the women's open title at the Ivy League championships a week ago. It brought to 11 the number of Ivy League championships for the academic year.

It also was the latest achievement for the program, which under Dauphiny has established an incredible record of consistency.

Consider some of the numbers:

* Princeton is one of three schools to have qualified for all 21 NCAA women's rowing championship events - and Dauphiny has been the coach for all 21

* Princeton has reached the grand final in 16 of the first 20 NCAA championships

* Princeton has placed in top five at eight NCAA finals and won two of them

* Dauphiny has led Princeton to eight Ivy titles, including four of the last five

You also have to add to that Dauphiny's record of sending her athletes to the Olympics - and having them come home with medals.

Dauphiny is about as unassuming as anyone you'll ever meet. She says hi and smiles and waves in a very quiet, almost shy, way. She is fully engaged in the athletic department and can be seen at any number of other team's games. The simplest way to describe her is that she is just a really nice person.

You can't build a program in a better way that Dauphiny has. It's year after year of championship boats, national team rowers, top students, great assets to the University.

It starts with Lori Dauphiny. A really nice person? Yes.

And also one of the greatest coaches Princeton has ever seen.

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