Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Tossing Lori, Again

There were a lot of moving parts around Princeton Athletics this past weekend.

Start with the four NCAA tournament lacrosse games on Sherrerd Field. The broadcasts of the women's games were produced by Princeton, which means Cody Chrusciel and his staff. The men's broadcast was produced by ESPN, which meant that the video equipment in the press box had to be taken down after the first day and then put back up after the men's game Saturday.

Then there was softball. One game Friday and then two Saturday became two Friday and one Saturday, which became one inning Saturday and six more Sunday. And a track and field meet, not to mention a baseball tripleheader.

Throw in the driving rain and all the tickets that had to be sold and all of the other logistics, and it wasn't easy. Major credit goes to Cody, and the event staff of Karen Malec and Kyle Koncar and the ticketing and marketing staff and grounds crew and everyone else (including communications).

It was a huge undertaking, and it all went off smoothly, largely because of the professionalism of TigerBlog's colleagues. They don't like being in the spotlight, preferring to let it shine on the athletes and coaches, but without them, this weekend wouldn't have been what it was.

One of the teams who did not compete on campus this weekend was the women's open rowing team, though they weren't that far away. The Tigers were on the Cooper River in Pennsauken, which is in South Jersey. 

It might not have been home, but it has been a home away from the women's open rowers through the years. This season was no different.

Once again the Tigers won the Ivy League women's rowing championship by taking the first varsity 8 race, making it five straight for the program. As TB said yesterday, nothing beats a good selection show reaction shot, but "tossing the rowing coach in the river after a win" is up there as well.

Princeton head coach Lori Dauphiny has to be used to this by now. She probably learned a long time ago not to have her phone or her keys in her pocket once the race gets past 1,000 meters or so.

Beyond the five straight, Princeton has also now won seven of eight. That's a lot of times being tossed into the water for Dauphiny.

There was certainly drama on the river Sunday afternoon. Princeton entered the first varsity 8 final actually in third place in the team points standings, which would determine the league's automatic NCAA championship entry. To get that spot, Princeton needed to win the race, which by itself would determine the Ivy champion. In other words, there were two prizes at stake.

Princeton sprinted out to an open water lead and ended up more than two seconds ahead of second-place Brown. The final team standings had Princeton, Brown and Yale all even, but Princeton took the league title and the NCAA bid.

For Princeton Athletics, one of its best and most impressive streaks is that the women's open rowing team has never missed an NCAA championship regatta, going back to 1997, a feat matched only by Brown and Washington. The Tigers were there even in the Covid-shortened year last year.

The NCAA selections are this afternoon at 5. The championships themselves are next weekend in Sarasota, Fla.

The three Ivy League rowing championships (the men's championships were on Lake Quigsigamond in Massachusetts) were the final ones of the 2021-22 academic year. First and foremost, TB wants to say that it was great to see the league be able to crown champions in 33 sports once again, and he's thrilled that the athletes got to have that experience back.

Also, for Princeton, it was another standout year of success. 

Princeton won three Ivy titles in the fall (football, men's soccer, men's cross country) and then four in the winter (women's fencing, women's basketball, men's basketball, men's indoor track and field) and finally six more in the spring (women's golf, women's lacrosse, men's outdoor track and field, softball, women's open rowing, women's tennis). That's 13 Ivy League championships.

Princeton also won league titles in men's water polo in the fall and women's lightweight rowing and men's volleyball in the spring. That's 16 championships total, which makes for another outstanding chapter in Tiger history.

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