Monday, May 20, 2019

And Women's Open Rowing Makes 12

TigerBlog was on his way back from the NCAA women's lacrosse game at Boston College when he stopped at a rest stop on the Mass Pike for gas Saturday afternoon.

He had to wait a few seconds for the person in front of him to finish pumping his gas when he noticed his hat. It said "Columbia Baseball."

TB then put two and two together and figured this was probably the parent of a Columbia baseball player, on his way back from the Ivy League playoff series between the Lions and Harvard in Cambridge. This made him wonder who won, and so he looked it up - Harvard had won Game 1.

But wait. Game 2, and if necessary Game 3, wouldn't be until yesterday. So why was he so far outside the city at a gas station on the highway?

Did he have a wedding to go to yesterday? A business trip? Another child in another game someplace else? Couldn't find a closer hotel room?

TB will never know, since the man got back in his car and drove away. TB will tell you that he's never seen a pump that worked slower than that one, since it took about three times longer than normal to fill the tank.

For the record, Harvard defeated Columbia 8-6 in 11 innings to win the league championship. It came on the final weekend of Ivy League championships for the academic year of 2018-19.

The last sports to crown champions were baseball, women's open rowing, men's heavyweight rowing and men's lightweight rowing.

And now they're done. That's 33 Ivy League sports and 33 championships decided.

Princeton won 12 of those championships, marking the 26th time the Tigers have reached double figures in Ivy League titles in an academic year.

TB has mentioned this a bunch of times.

At the same time, there's really nothing else that fully captures the sustained level of excellence across the board than the fact that Princeton has reached double figures in Ivy titles 26 times. As for the rest of the league, Harvard has done it 10 times (the baseball championship was the Crimson's ninth this year) and no other team has ever done it even once.

That's amazing.

Princeton has gotten to double figures five straight academic years and 10 of the last 11. The longest streak of consecutive academic years in double figures is nine, from 1993-94 to 2001-02, a streak that ended when Princeton won nine titles in 2002-03.

This academic year, by the way, is the 13th one in which Princeton has won at least 12 Ivy titles.

And that doesn't even include the league championships won by non-Ivy teams men's volleyball, men's water polo and women's lightweight rowing.

As for the 12th and final title, it was done in completely dominating style.

The Princeton women were at the Ivy League championships on the Cooper River in South Jersey, and they dominated, winning all but one race to run away from the field.

The Ivy League champion is considered the winner of the first varsity 8 race, and Princeton won that one by nearly four full seconds. The Tigers sizzled from the start, building a two-second lead after 500 meters and doubling it after 1,000 meters.

Princeton finished the 2,000-meter course in 6:23.476, followed by Brown, who managed to get the final margin under four seconds. From there it was another 4.5 seconds back to third-place Yale. In other words, Princeton was unstoppable.

It's the fourth straight Ivy League championship for the women's open rowers. There are two seniors - Claire Collins and Emily Kallfelz - who have been in the first varsity boat for all four of those, which is something of a rarity.

The Ivy League title gets Princeton an automatic bid to the upcoming NCAA championships in Indianapolis May 31-June 2 in Indianapolis. Princeton, unbeaten this year, is ranked eighth nationally.

The men's lightweights and heavyweights and the women's lightweights will compete at the IRA national championships in Sacramento the same weekend. 

The national championships in rowing and the NCAA regionals and finals in track and field are all that's left for the 2018-19 academic year. 

It's another academic year that ends with double figures in championships. Running it down again, it's:
football, men' soccer, women's soccer, men's cross country, men's water polo from the fall
women's basketball, men's indoor track and field, women's hockey from the winter
women's lacrosse, men's golf, women's tennis, men's volleyball, women's lightweight rowing, men's outdoor track and field, women's open rowing from the spring

That last one, by the way, was a pretty good way to wrap things up.

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