Friday, May 26, 2017

What's The Capital Of Nebraska?

TigerBlog isn't sure when they taught state capitals.

He just knows that whoever taught him, it stuck. What is it about state capitals that make them so easy to remember?

Nebraska? Lincoln. It is Lincoln, right? It is.

Actually, it's possible it didn't stick as much as TigerBlog thought. He just took a quick quiz and he got two wrong. But not Nebraska. He was right about that one.

When he was in middle school or whenever he first started to learn this stuff, he struggled with North and South Dakota. He remembered Pierre and Bismark, just not which went with which. Bismark, by the way, is the North Dakota one.

So which two did he mess up?

Tennessee. He thought it was Knoxville, not Nashville.

And Kentucky. He thought it was Lexington, but it's Frankfurt. So that's 48 out of 50, or a 96 on the test.

As for Lexington, well, it's part of this week's edition of Friday notes.

* It's not the capital, but it's still important

While Lexington might be 26 miles away from the state capital in Frankfurt, it's the capital of Princeton track and field this weekend. There are 22 Princeton track and field athletes competing at the NCAA regional, beginning yesterday and continuing through tomorrow. The goal is to advance to the NCAA championships in two weeks in Eugene, Ore.

If you're looking for all kinds of information on the event this weekend, you can find it HERE.

There will be 14 men and eight women who compete.

Princeton has already had athletes who have qualified for Oregon.

Julia Ratcliffe, who figures to make a serious run at a second NCAA title (she also has been a runner-up), won the hammer throw at the regional. In the men's hammer, Adam Kelly earned a second-straight spot in the NCAA championships.

Allison Harris advanced in the pole vault for her first outdoor to the NCAA championships. She finished 10th this past winter at the indoor championships. 

* Double play

Princeton's men's tennis duo of Alex Day and Luke Gamble played yesterday at the NCAA doubles championships at the University of Georgia. That's in Athens, which is not the state capital. Atlanta is.

Day and Gamble became the first Princeton doubles team to reach the NCAA men's tennis tournament since 2001. The two had three wins over top 10 doubles teams prior to the NCAA event.

* Rowing championships

The IRA national championships are next weekend. So why mention them now? Because they're in Sacramento, which as everyone knows is the capital of California.

The NCAA women's championships will be this weekend, much closer, on Mercer Lake at Mercer County Park, which isn't quite in the state capital but is close. Trenton, by the way, is home of the only state capital building that is visible from another state.

Way more information about the women's championships than TigerBlog could ever give you can be found HERE.

The first varsity eight is undefeated this season, including an Ivy League championship. The Tigers are the fourth seed for the NCAA event.

The event begins today and runs through Sunday. If you're in the area, it's definitely worth attending, especially if you've never been to a major rowing regatta.

* Winning pitcher

TigerBlog got a text from Scott Jurgens, the former marketing director at Princeton, asking if he was looking for something to write about. Jurgens is now at Rice, which is in Houston, which, like a lot of other places in Texas, is not the capital. Austin is.

Jurgens is a big fan of the Toronto Blue Jays. Actually, TB has no idea why that is. He'll have to ask Jurgens one of these days. He doesn't have to ask how Barnaby, Scott's dog, is doing, because Scott keeps the world updated on Twitter.

Anyway, Scott texted TB the other day to say that Toronto's Danny Barnes, a Princeton alum, got his first Major League win Tuesday night, when he came on in relief and retired all five Milwaukee Brewers he faced.

Another Princeton alum, Mike Ford, is in Triple A now at Scranton-Wilkes Barre, one step below the Yankees. After hitting two home runs in 113 at-bats at Double-A Trenton, he hit four in his first 36 at-bats at Triple-A.

* Honoring Abby

Abby Finkelston was named the winner of the 2017 YRL Unsung Hero Award presented by the One Love Foundation.

The award is given annually to a male and a female Division I lacrosse player who demonstrate dedication, integrity, humility, hard work, community service, leadership, kindness and sportsmanship - all qualities Yeardley Love exemplified throughout her life.

Finkelston, a junior, missed the entire season due to injuries - but clearly she continues to make an impact on Princeton women's lacrosse. From the story: After sustaining severe injuries in a car accident in high school, Abby rebounded to become a starting attacker both her freshman and sophomore years. This year she had another setback with hip injuries that took her off the playing field. Through all of this, Abby has been a positive leader for her team. She even used her injury to help others in similar circumstances by founding the Wounded Tigers Network, a resource and support for injured student-athletes at Princeton. In addition to being an exemplary student-athlete, Abby has also been a longtime member of Best Buddies and is actively involved in its Princeton chapter.

In keeping with the theme of the day, Finkelston is from Leonardtown, Md., which is 70 miles away from Annapolis, the state capital.

* Updated predictions

The NCAA lacrosse championships are not being held in Boston, the state capital of Massachusetts. They are in Foxboro, which is about 30 miles away.

Unlike previous years, the men's and women's championships will be in the same building.

As a result, it'll be rather busy, with eight games in four days. It begins tonight with the women's Division I semifinals, continues tomorrow with the Division I men's semifinals, Sunday with the Division I women's final, the Division II men's final and the Division III men's final and concludes Monday with the Division I men's final.

For TigerBlog, this will be his 22nd Final Four in 25 years and his 13th straight as the official scorer. Speaking of 25 years, TigerBlog is looking forward to halftime Monday, when the 1992 Princeton men's team will be honored on the 25th anniversary of its NCAA title.

As for TB's thoughts on who will win, he said in mid-season that he thought Maryland would win both the men's and the women's championships. He'll stay with Maryland on the women's side.

As for the men, every time TB sees Ohio State play he's more impressed. He picked the Buckeyes to get to the final, and he'll stay with that, even though Towson, Ohio State's semifinal opponent, is definitely for real.

Towson, by the way, is the Final Four for the first time since 2001, when those Tigers lost to the Princeton Tigers 12-11 in the semifinal. It was Sean Hartofilis with the game-winner, if TB is remembering correctly.

The other side has Maryland, the team that TigerBlog thought in mid-season and pre-tournament would be playing Ohio State on Memorial Day, against Denver.

TigerBlog will go with two thoughts here: 1) Trevor Baptiste and 2) Bill Tierney. Maybe it's the fact that he spent 22 years with Tierney at Princeton, but TigerBlog will go with Denver. Especially if Baptiste wins face-offs the way he has been.

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