Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Catching Up II

TigerBlog yesterday combined a few items into one entry under the heading "Catching Up."

And now, just one day later, he again has some things to catch up on.

* As he mentioned yesterday, TB is writing a series of feature stories as part of the celebration of the major milestones in Princeton Rowing. The first two were posted yesterday.

One of them was on Amy Richlin and is an excerpt from TB's book on the first 50 years of women's athletics at Princeton. Richlin is the dynamic personality who wouldn't take no for an answer when it came to allowing women to row back when coeducation first began. 

TB first came to speak with her to investigate the legend that said that C. Otto von Kienbusch, for whom the top senior female athlete award is named, was an opponent of women at Princeton until the first women's rowing captain went and talked him into being a supporter. It turned out not to be the case, but there wouldn't been women's rowing as early as there was without Richlin, that first captain.

You can read about her HERE.

The other feature TB did was recommended by men's heavyweight coach Greg Hughes. He suggested looking deeper into the story of Gordon Sikes Class of 1916, for whom the Sikes Room in the Shea Rowing Center is named. As it turns out, Sikes suffered from polio as a child, which left him unable to walk without braces and crutches for the rest of his life. 

Despite that, he attended Princeton, was the coxwain for the men's rowing team and went on to be the first lightweight coach, as well as running the forerunner of the career services office for 45 years. When he left Princeton, no one had worked at the University longer.

You can read all about him HERE.

* Mark Kovler was a first-team All-American lacrosse midfielder who scored 34 goals as a senior in 2009. He was recently inducted into the Potomac chapter of the U.S. Lacrosse Hall of Fame.

Michael Biles was another Princeton middie, one whose career was hampered by injuries. Biles graduated in 2007.

Here is something that Kovler tweeted Monday night:

Kovler's last game was a 6-4 loss to Cornell in the 2009 NCAA quarterfinals. It remains one of the tougher losses that TB has witnessed in all of his time here. Kovler had one of the goals in that game, one week after he had five goals and one assist in a 10-7 opening round win over UMass.

After the loss to Cornell, then-Tiger coach Bill Tierney was quoted as saying this: "Sometimes in athletics, it doesn't work out the way you want." 

Maybe it didn't work out the way Princeton wanted it that day in 2009. Still, it's long been established that Princeton Athletics is about the four-year experience and then the way it prepares those who go through it for the rest of their lives.

In this case, it's clear that in Princeton Athletics, this worked out exactly how it was supposed to. How impressive are those guys? 

* The sport of skeleton was first contested in the Olympic Games in 1928 and then again in 1948. After that, it wasn't on the schedule again until 2002. 

Skeleton is almost the opposite of luge. In skeleton, the rider is face-down, head-first. In luge, it's face-up, feet-first.

What they have in common is that they are both on ice and they both require, among other things, total fearlessness on the part of the rider.

Princeton will be represented at the upcoming Olympics in the sport, as former Tiger track and field athlete Nathan Crumpton will be competing for American Samoa. It is quite likely that Crumpton, who finished fifth on the International Cup tour in 2021, will be very much in the medal mix. 

Whether he medals or not, Crumpton is already part of history, having now qualified for both the Summer and Winter Olympic Games after having run the 100 meters in Tokyo for American Samoa last summer.

Crumpton, when he competes in China, will become just the 140th athlete to have reached the Olympics in both.

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