Wednesday, July 14, 2021

The 1988 Women's 4x800 Relay Team

TigerBlog might not make the best eyewitness if it ever comes to that.

When he rides his bike, he usually listens to his iTunes. It amazes him how many times he can't remember the song he just heard when a new one comes on.

Okay, maybe that's because the music is just in the background as he rides along, so he's not focused on it. What happened with the picture of Peter Farrell from the other day was downright concerning to TB.

He was looking for a picture of Peter that he described as "a black-and-white picture of a male coach with two athletes." It turns out is was a color picture with four athletes. Oh well.

How would that translate to the witness stand?

"Can you describe the photo in question?"
"Yes, it was black and white and had Peter Farrell with two of his athletes from the 1980s."
"Are you sure?"
"Is this the photo?"
"Is it black and white?"
"Uh, no."
"Can you count for the court how many athletes are in it?"
"One. Two. Three. Four."
"So that's not two, is it?"
"Yeah, no."

Case dismissed.

You'll have to forgive TB, but he found the actual color picture while he was watching "Law & Order."

His inability to remember details like the picture or the last song he heard astonish him, since he has a great ability to remember small details of games he was at 30 or even more years ago (not to mention song lyrics and lines from TV shows and movies). Maybe someone can do a senior thesis on this.

Meanwhile, here's the picture to which TB was referring earlier:

Peter Farrell, of course, spent 39 years as the head coach of women's track and field at Princeton. The picture was taken in Oklahoma City, after the 1988 NCAA indoor track and field championships. 

The four athletes are Laura Cattivera, Nancy Easton, Meagan Dewey and Becky Wells. Their time was 8:50.55, which wasn't as fast as the four ran at the ECAC championships a few weeks earlier. That time was 8:48.58, which stood for 23 years as the school record (and now stands fifth all-time).

By the way, TB got the time out of the Daily Princetonian archives of March 21, 1988. The lead story in that issue, which was 33 years ago? Well, it was about a proposal to build a highway between Route 1 and the Northeast Corridor train tracks that would go 17 miles from North Brunswick to Lawrence. How'd that turn out? 

Also by the way, if you're relatively new to the Princeton area, Route 1 used to be a lot worse, until the elimination of the traffic light where Nassau Park Boulevard is now located.

Cattivera was a five-time individual Heps champion, in addition to her success on the relay. In fact, she won 1,500 and the 3,000 at the outdoor Heps in 1989 making her one of two Princeton runners to win those two events in the same Heps (Elizabeth Levy in 1977 was the first; Liz Costello won both events, but not in the same meet).

Easton won two individual Heps titles. Wells won one. 

As for Farrell, he won 27 Heps championships as Princeton's coach, nine each in cross country, indoor track and field and outdoor track and field. He led the Tigers to "Triple Crowns" – a sweep of all three Heps crowns in the same academic year – twice, in 1980-81 and 2010-11. 

How many coaches have won Triple Crowns in the Ivy League? Two. Farrell, and Princeton men's coach Fred Samara, who has won so many that TB has lost track (actually he's won nine of them).

His resume includes coaching 182 Ivy League individual or relay champions. Farrell's tenure is the longest for any coach of a women's team in Princeton history.

In fact, only three people have ever coached a Princeton women's team for at least 30 years – Farrell, current women's lacrosse coach Chris Sailer (entering Year 35) and former swimming and diving coach Susan Teeter (33 years). There's a lot of championships between those three, by the way.

TB found the picture to include in the women's history book. He texted Peter to have him ID the photo.

It's always great to talk to Peter. And TB's sense is he could send Peter a photo of any athlete he ever coached at Princeton and he'd be able to ID it.

TB could do pretty much the same thing. 

Just don't ask him what the song before this one was. 

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