Thursday, September 18, 2014

200 National Champs, Or Is That 202?

TigerBlog was in a meeting the other day when the question of Princeton's all-time national champions came up.

Actually, questions. As in, how many? What sports? Who has the most? All of it.

Princeton has won its share of national championships. More, actually.

As you probably know, Princeton has had at least one team or individual win a national championship in each of the 43 years. Julia Ratcliffe somewhat dramatically kept the streak alive last year, winning the NCAA women's hammer throw at the final event of the athletic year.

When TigerBlog started working here, he saw someplace that said that Princeton had a long streak of producing a national champion. He didn't, however, see the list of the national champions during that streak.

At some point, he decided he'd put together the list - and he found that it actually ran 12 years longer than he thought it did. Now it's up to 43 straight, thanks to Ratcliffe.

And TigerBlog can prove it. Click HERE and scroll to the bottom.

So that's the last 43 years.

As for all time? Well, that's not as clear cut, though it is possible that Ratcliffe's championship this past spring was also a huge milestone, in addition to one that kept a big streak alive.

TigerBlog went through and added up all of Princeton's all-time national championships, team and individual. He found four teams with at least 20; he will give you a few paragraphs to guess the four.

In the meantime, there's a little issue with men's hockey national championships. As in, Princeton doesn't claim any.

Harvard, of all places, credits Princeton with two during the Hobey Baker years. Yale claims national hockey championships during that era, suggesting that perhaps there was a champion crowned.

TB is working on this one.

Okay, as for the four teams with at least 20? That would be football (with 28), women's squash (26), men's squash (24), men's swimming and diving (22). This includes team and individual for the last three.

Yeah, yeah, TigerBlog gets it. The 28 national championships in football that Princeton won aren't quite the same as winning, say, the BCS championship or something. But they're national titles nonetheless.

Not counting the men's hockey issue, TigerBlog has come up with 200 national championships all time at Princeton. In other words, if men's hockey never won a national title, then the one that Ratcliffe won was the 200th in school history.

Oh, and of those 200, the breakdown is 111 team and 89 individual. Or 113 team and 89 individual, if you count hockey.

Of course, this does not translate to 200 NCAA championships. Or 202.

Does anyone remember the AIAW, which stood for the Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women?

The AIAW was founded in 1971 as the governing body of women's athletics on the college level, and it was the AIAW - not the NCAA - which ran the national championship events for the women's teams. This lasted until the early 1980s, when the NCAA basically obliterated the AIAW.

TigerBlog isn't sure how the compliance end of the AIAW worked, compared with NCAA rules and regulations. And it's not on Wikipedia, so he may never find out.

Princeton won six AIAW championships in swimming, including four individual ones by Cathy Corcione. One of TigerBlog's favorite Princeton stories is how six swimmers from Princeton went to the 1973 AIAW national meet and ended up finishing third in the country, helped along by Corcione's two individual wins and her leg on the winning 200 free relay team, along with teammates Jane Fremon, Barb Franks, and Carol Brown. All three of Princeton's champs set national records at that meet.

Corcione won two more events the following year, taking both the 100 IM and 200 IM. The most recent Princeton national championship in women's swimming came in the 1982 AIAW meet - the last one - when Diana Caskey, Ann Heusner, Liz Richardson and Betsy Lind won the 800 free relay.

Some sports still don't compete for NCAA titles, such as squash and men's rowing. Others won national titles in sports before there was an NCAA to award them, or before there was an NCAA tournament to crown the championship.

Men's lacrosse, for instance, has won 12 national championships. Of the 12, two were before the formation of the NCAA (which was in 1906) and four others were when the national champion was voted on. The remaining six were by virtue of winning the actual NCAA tournament.

Anyway, here's the list, sport by sport. Where you see a "x/y," that is "team/individual champions."

And if Julia's was No. 200, that's even cooler.

If Princeton won the two hockey championships, by the way, then the 200th would have Eliza Stone's individual fencing championship in 2013.

Football – 28
Women’s squash – 26 (17/9)
Men’s squash – 24 (10/14)
Men’s swimming and diving – 22 (0/22)
Mens’ golf – 19 (12/7)
Fencing – 14 (2/12)
Men’s lax – 12
Men’s tennis – 10 (0/10)
Women’s open rowing - 10
Men’s lightweight rowing - 8
Men’s track and field – 7 (0/7)
Women’s swimming and diving – 6 (0/6)
Women’s lightweight rowing – 5
Women’s lax – 3
Men’s heavyweight rowing – 3
Wrestling – 1 (0/1)
Field Hockey – 1
Women’s Track and Field – 1 (0/1)

1 comment:

Tad La Fountain '72 said...

In addition to this list, there are at least eight additional national championships won by the Princeton sailing team under the aegis of the Inter-Collegiate Sailing Association (a national entity with over 200 member schools that supports racing around the country - sort of like the IRA, except that the people in the boats actually look where they're going): the National Dinghy champions in 1940, 1941 and 1963, the Women's National champions in 1974-1977 and the National Single-Handed champion in 1967.

A club sport at Princeton, sailing has been a varsity sport at Harvard, Yale and Dartmouth for several years with recent results reflecting the obvious effects.