Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Student Achievers

Every time TigerBlog rides his bike these days, he thinks of men's swimmer Matthew Marquardt.

If you recall, Marquardt rode his own bike across the country, from San Diego to Florida. And he did it in, what, three weeks?

If TB were to do that, it would take him more like three years. It would be fun and all, but he can't do the 130 or so miles per day that Marquardt did.

The most TB ever did in one day was 34 miles. At that rate, it would take him more than 88 days to go 3,000 miles. And that's if he averaged his career best.

At his average daily rate of 11 miles, he would take him 273 days to do it.

TB has never made a bucket list or anything. If he did, he'd probably add some sort of extremely long bike ride that took him a month or two. He's not sure where he'd go, but maybe he'll try it.

In the meantime, he continues to be awed by how Marquardt did it.

This past week, at the Princeton Varsity Club luncheon, Marquardt was named the PNC Bank Student-Achiever male athlete award winner. In addition to his cross country ride, which raised $13,000 for St. Jude Children's Hospital, Marquardt has a long history of service to the community.

From the story:
In 2019, Marquardt became the first Princetonian to receive a Slavin Fellowship for his entrepreneurship, while also being honored at Princeton Research Day for his work on solar powered windows. He has led numerous research studies on campus related to student sleep habits, and worked with Princeton Tiger Performance to help student-athletes leverage sleep to maximize performance. 

That's clearly an impressive young man.

On the women's side, the winner was Carlie Littlefield of the women's basketball team. From her part of the story:
She serves as President of the Varsity Student Athlete Advisory Council, where she recently led efforts to deliver valentines to patients at St. Jude Children's Hospital. Earlier this year, she organized a team-wide free throw challenge that raised over $13,000 for I AM TRENTON, a local non-profit serving the Trenton community. Additionally, Littlefield has previously served as a Coach for College participant and the Iowa State Director for Princeton's Vote100 Campaign. For her efforts, Littlefield was recently recognized as the NJAIAW Princeton Woman of the Year.

The two winners of the PNC Bank Student-Achiever Awards for the winter were clearly quite deserving. 

There haven't been too many better women's basketball players who have ever played at Princeton than Carlie Littlefield. With her junior season halted prior to the Ivy League tournament due to the pandemic and with her senior season wiped out for the same reason, Littlefield was limited to 87 career games. The record is 121, held by Vanessa Smith (Class of 2017).

Despite that, Littlefield finished her Princeton career with 1,021 career points, reaching the 1,000-point mark in what would turn out to be the second-to-last game of her career, at Columbia on the last weekend of the regular season. 

It was the same night that Bella Alarie broke the school career scoring record.

When you think of Littlefield, you don't think of her scoring first, though. You think of all of the following things: how she runs a team, her energy level at all times, the intangible qualities she has that winning players innately have.

She was a two-time first-team All-Ivy League selection, a figure that almost surely would have been three had her senior year been played. She would have had as good a chance as anyone to have been the 2021 Ivy League Player of the Year.

Littlefield still has a year of eligibility left, and it will be interesting to see where she lands and how she does. 

At the same time, TB will always think of her as a Princeton player, not matter what happens from here. And not just a Princeton player. 

He'll think of her as a winning Princeton player, the kind of player every winning team loves to have, and needs to have. 

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