Thursday, June 7, 2018

Some Basketball, Baseball, Rowing And Track and Field

If you graduated from Princeton earlier this week, then you're probably wrestling with something that TigerBlog remembers from his own experience a long time ago.

For four years, the answer to the question "where do you go to college" was, in the case of the recent grads, "Princeton." Now, in a blink, it goes from "I go to Princeton" to "I went to Princeton."

The first time you say that to someone, it is definitely weird. In a lot of ways, that's when it hits you that you're actually done with college and moving on to what's next.

TigerBlog has heard that the most emotional part of the entire Reunions/Class Day/Graduation run for a senior is when they get to Poe Field at the end of the P-Rade. TB's alma mater doesn't have anything quite like that, and his own graduation ceremony - held at the old Philadelphia Civic Center - was hardly a gripping moment.

In fact, he thinks he was more emotional when Pete Carril got two technicals and tossed from a game against La Salle in the same building a decade later.

Speaking of Princeton basketball, did you see the story on the basketball page of about Chris Young and David West? You can see it HERE.

That's pretty good stuff from West, who is currently chasing an NBA title with the Warriors. The story says that Young and West only faced each other once, but Princeton and Xavier actually played three times in 18 months - in the 1999 NIT at Xavier, in the 1999-2000 regular season at Xavier and then in the 2000-01 regular season at Jadwin. The home team won all three.

The two games at Xavier were played in the very old Cincinnati Gardens, which is where the Cincinnati Royals used to play. Oscar Robertson was their franchise player. The Royals left in 1972 to become the Kansas City-Omaha Kings (splitting home games between the two cities) before heading in 1985 to their current location - Sacramento.

Back in the highly entertaining 1999 NIT, Princeton had beaten Georgetown (using just five players) and North Carolina State and was playing at Xavier for a spot in the semifinals at Madison Square Garden. The Tigers were up by double digits in the first half before falling 65-58.

Young in that game 21 points, six rebounds and six assists. In the game at Jadwin, which Princeton would win 58-52, West would have 18 points and 11 rebounds. Mike Bechtold led Princeton with 16.

Young, of course, went on to a long career as a Major League Baseball pitcher. One day after graduating, Princeton's Ben Gross was drafted in the 

Anyway, none of that was what TigerBlog meant to talk about. No, even if it's post-graduation, the athletic year has not yet come to an end.

First there were the men's heavyweight and lightweight and women's lightweight rowing championships, which were held at Mercer Lake last weekend. The best showing was by the men's lightweights, who finished second, less than a second behind Columbia and nearly five seconds ahead of third-place Harvard. You can rad about it HERE.

The women's lightweights were third, behind Stanford and Boston University. You can read about it HERE.

The men's heavyweights finished fifth in a very strong showing. You can read about this one HERE.

With the end of the rowing championships, all that was left was the NCAA track and field championships, which are currently underway in Oregon. Princeton sent four athletes, two of whom competed yesterday.

William Paulson earned his second honorable mention All-America honor in the 1,500, but he was edged at the finish and did not advance out of the semifinal. Paulson ran the fastest time of any non-advancing runner after finishing eighth in his heat, less than a second out of first.

Adam Kelly was a second-team All-America after finishing ninth in the hammer throw. Kelly was fourth in his flight and then waited an hour to see if anyone in the second flight would knock him out of the top nine, who advance.

Kelly would hold on to ninth, which got him three more throws, but he was unable to move up into the top eight, which would have been first-team All-America. Still, two competitors and two All-Americas in the first day isn't bad.

Princeton doesn't have anyone who will compete today. Connor Lundy goes in the 5,000 final tomorrow night, and then freshman Obiageri Amaechi goes in the women's discus Saturday.

And when Amaechi is done, so too will be the 2017-18 academic year.

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