Wednesday, May 19, 2010

24 Straight

Everywhere TigerBlog looks on the Princeton campus this week, he sees signs of the coming of Reunions.

Except Myslik Field at Roberts Stadium, of course, where there are signs of the coming of the World Cup.

The class year signs are up. Beautification projects are obvious. It happens every year at this time, as the only event that outdraws football on this campus (TB believes) is right around the corner.

As amazing as it seems, the athletic year at Princeton is basically over. There are some track and field athletes still competing, and there are still the national rowing championships. Hilary Bartlett and Taylor Marable are playing in the NCAA women's tennis doubles tournament.

Beyond that, it's all over for 2009-10. And it's officially over for Ivy League competition, which ended this past weekend with a first-place and two second-place finishes at the Eastern Sprints.

With the end of Ivy League competition, the 2009-10 Ivy League unofficial all-sports points standings are also finalized. For those who have forgotten from TB's other 9,000 mentions of these standings, points are awarded based on Ivy finish, with eight points for first, seven for second, etc. In the event of ties in places, the teams involved split the points.

For the record, here are the results:

1. Princeton 205.5
2. Harvard 173
3. Cornell 152.5
4. Yale 144
5. Penn 140.5
6. Columbia 120.5
7. Dartmouth 119
8. Brown 117

If you're interested in championships won, it goes:
1. Princeton 12
2. Cornell 7
3. Harvard/Penn/Yale 4
6. Columbia 3
7. Dartmouth/Brown 1

If you want to go back to the points, Princeton also won for the men and for the women and won each of the three seasons individually.

The year is the 24th straight in which Princeton has won the Ivy's unofficial all-sports points championship. The 205.5 points eclipsed last year's total of 205 and was Princeton's highest since the 1998-99 academic year.

The standings measure athletic success from top to bottom, so it's not just about how many championships are won. The closest Princeton has come to not winning in recent years came in 2004-05, when Harvard won 14 Ivy titles to five for Princeton. Still, the Tigers won, although by 2.5 points.

Princeton's 12 championships this year marked the 19th time that the program has reached double figures in Ivy wins in an academic year. Harvard, the only other leagues school to accomplish this, has done it five times.

What's most amazing to TB is that Princeton has this success without relying on the same programs over and over to win league titles. This year, for instance, Princeton won 12 Ivy titles without winning a single one in perennial powers men's and women's squash, baseball, softball, women's lacrosse and women's soccer and despite losing the men's cross country title by one point.

In the last three years alone, 20 of the 33 teams that compete in Ivy League sports have won at least one championship. This year, like last year, 25 of 33 teams finished in first, second or third.

With Reunions about to start and the end of the 2009-10 athletic year not too far away, Princeton's coaches and athletes can take a minute to be proud of their accomplishments.

And then they can start to look ahead to 2010-11.

As TB always says, just because there have been 24 straight doesn't mean that 25 is a lock.



Congratulations, unofficially of course...

Anonymous said...

The 8-7-6 ... metric is easiest, but I would argue it severely undervalues the worth of an Ivy League championship. The difference between winning the title and finishing second is in no way comparable to the difference between finishing seventh and eighth, but each is separated by one point. I don't know how you'd account for that, but at the very least I'd say it should be 10-7-6 ... I'd be surprised if Princeton's lead most years wasn't even larger if that were the case.