Monday, May 9, 2022

Triple Crowns

So the subject for today is the Triple Crown.

The two-legged and four-legged variety. TigerBlog has gone through this before. 

What? You expected him to start with lacrosse? There's a lot to talk about in that sport, especially after last night's NCAA selections had the Tiger women and men both at home this weekend in the NCAA tournament. He promises you he'll get to all of that as the week goes along, leading up to the women against UMass Friday at 7 (Syracuse-Fairfield kicks it off at 4), the men against Boston University Saturday at noon and the women's second round game Sunday at noon, all on Sherrerd Field.

For today, though, there are other things to discuss.

First, there was the Kentucky Derby. If you watched it, you saw an 80-1 horse come out of nowhere to win the whole thing. And when TB says out of nowhere, he means it. If you saw the overhead shot, you saw how Rich Strike pass 16 horses from the final turn on to win, somewhat comfortably by the way.

It was a ridiculous comeback by the horse, who was so far out of it that he looked like he had a much better shot at last than first about three-quarters of the way through. TB might be wrong, but he's pretty sure he saw a look of sheer determination on Rich Strike's face as he flew to the front. Can horses show determination?

Winning the Triple Crown is not easy, in horse racing or in collegiate track and field. The Harvard women's track and field team found that out this weekend at Yale.

Penn passed Harvard, barely, in the final two relays, taking first place 137-136, with Princeton in third at 133. It was the first time in women's Ivy Heps outdoor history that three teams finished within four points of each other and the closest women's finish since 1997, when Cornell edged Princeton by half a point. Harvard's women had won the cross country and indoor Heps titles.

Princeton's Kate Joyce won the javelin Saturday, breaking records for the school, meet and Ivy League in the process while also earning Outstanding Field Performer honors. Princeton's Siniru Iheoma won both the shot put and discus; the freshman threw them both almost far enough to make it to her house in Richboro, Pa., just across the river. Well, not really, but she had a great performance to win two individual events as a rookie.

As for the men, well, what more can be said?

Princeton wiped out the field, scoring 231 points, with Harvard next with 136. That's a 95-point win. Penn was third with 86 points.

For Princeton, that completes three dominant victories, after taking the cross country Heps, with 28 points to second-place Harvard's 43 and then indoor track and field with 189 points to Harvard's 133.

As for Triple Crowns, Princeton completed another one, making it 10 for the Tigers all-time. No other men's team has done so even once.

With the Princeton men's track and field team, there are so many highlights that it's hard to know where to start. If you want to read about some of those highlights, click HERE.

Of course maybe TB should be with Samara. Is there anyone ever anywhere who has run a program at such a high level as he has for as long as he has? 

Samara now has been the head coach for 50 Ivy League Heptagonal championships. That's 50. That is insanity.

He's also not exactly living off past laurels either. That's another Triple Crown, which is his third in the last four years of Ivy track and field. 

These Tigers are what their coach Fred Samara said they were going to be: historically good. TB remembers when he told him that before the season started. He said it with such respect for his athletes. It wasn't bragging. That's not his style. 

Fred Samara is a soft-spoken, caring, loyal man who has a really dry sense of humor. He always has a pleasant word for everyone in the athletic department. He loves to root for all of Princeton's teams.

He also is driven, and highly competitive. He doesn't like to lose, and he doesn't do so often.

Sometimes, though, he even outdoes himself. This weekend was proof yet again of that.

1 comment:

Steven J. Feldman '68 said...

You must be in your glory now that both men's and women's lacrosse teams are hosting NCAA tournament games in the same weekend. When was the last time that occurred if ever?