Friday, August 5, 2022

Three Weeks To Go

The first Princeton Athletic event of the 2022-23 season is three weeks from today.

Three weeks. Twenty-one days. Princeton women's soccer, home against Colgate Friday night (the 26th) and Fairfield Sunday night (the 28th), both at 7. 

The next three weeks will see the campus begin to come back to life, as athletes from all the fall teams arrive to begin preseason training. Within four weeks Princeton will have six teams that have competed, as men's soccer, women's volleyball, field hockey, men's water polo and women's rugby get going one week after the women's soccer team. The cross country teams will be getting ready as well.

The football opener is still six weeks away, when the Tigers will be in Florida to take on Stetson. 

You can't tell by the weather in the Princeton area, of course, but the summer is starting to wind down a bit. Ah, but it's still a summer weekend, which you should take full advantage of, whatever it is you love to do this time of year.

In the meantime, TigerBlog meant to catch you up on a few items:

* First and foremost, TB apologizes to Obiageri Amaechi, who won a bronze medal in the discus at the Commonwealth Games while competing for Nigeria. Amaechi is a 2021 Princeton grad who was a two-time All-American and is the Ivy League record-holder in the discus. 

TB didn't realize that she was competing, so he omitted her from his piece yesterday about Princeton track and field at the games. She was omitted here, but not from the medal podium. TB apologizes for the first and sends congratulations for the second.

Elsewhere at the Commonwealth Games, Julia Ratcliffe is through to the hammer final after having the second-best mark in qualifying. Ratcliffe will go for a medal tomorrow, as will Ed Trippas in the 3,000-meter steeplechase.

Lizzie Bird, the British steeplechase record-holder, runs in the women's final this afternoon Eastern time and this evening Great Britain time.

* It was a great Princeton showing at the World U23/U19 Rowing championships in Italy.

Princeton's rowers combined to win 12 medals in all, with five each from the men's heavyweights and women's open and one each from the lightweight men and women. The Tigers won medals for Great Britain, the United States and Germany.

Princeton's history of rowing success on the international level is spectacular, especially at the Olympic Games. This kind of showing in such an important meet suggests that the future is looking good as well.

* TigerBlog doesn't know what he has to do to get you to follow Shelley Szwast on Twitter, but you're missing out. Shelley is at @split2ndphoto, and her feed is one great Princeton picture after another, with more Princeton enthusiasm than you'll find anywhere else.

Shelley has fewer than 100 followers. She needs to have at least 1,000 by the end of the fall season.

* Abby Meyers was honored with the Dolph Schayes Outstanding Achievement Award by the Jewish Sports Heritage Foundation.

This is only the third year of the award, which previously went to the Yeshiva men's basketball team and then endurance cyclist Leah Goldstein.

Who was Dolph Schayes, by the way? He was, among other things, the first-ever coach of the Philadelphia 76ers, something he did as a player-coach when the team moved from Syracuse to Philadelphia in 1963-64. 

Schayes, who was 6-8 and 220 and who passed away in 2015 at the age of 87, played college basketball at NYU, helping the Purple Violets to the 1945 NCAA championship game before falling to Oklahoma A&M. Back then, it was an eight-team tournament; NYU beat Tufts in the first round and then Ohio State (who beat Kentucky in the first round) in the semifinals. Oklahoma A&M defeated Utah in the first round and Arkansas in the semifinals. 

Schayes was also named one of the NBA's top 75 players of all-time a year ago.

Congratulations to Abby, by the way.

* TigerBlog mentioned that the football season is six weeks away.

This is the time of year for preseason publications and preseason all-league and All-American teams. Depending on which one has your guys on it, these teams are either insightful or silly.

That would make Phil Steele's lean to the insightful, as Princeton had two preseason All-Americans on his team. 

One is wide receiver Andrei Iosivas, who was a second-team selection. Also a gifted multi-event athlete who was a first-team All-American in the indoor Heptathlon last winter, Iosivas is an explosive deep threat who averaged 17.1 yards per catch while scoring five touchdowns last season.

As for Powers, he was the Ivy League's top punter last year, averaging 43.8 yards per punt. More than one-third of his punts traveled more than 50 yards. He has a big-time leg, and TB would not be shocked to see both players get NFL chances.

Phil Steele also released its All-Ivy League preseason team, which featured 11 Princeton players. Iosivas, Powers, tight end Carson Bobo, offensive lineman Henry Byrd and defensive lineman Uche Ndukwe were first-team picks, and running back John Volker, wide receiver Dylan Classi, offensive lineman Connor Scaglione, offensive lineman Jalen Travis, linebacker Liam Johnson and linebacker Michael Ruttlen Jr. were second-team picks.

* Have a great weekend everyone. Stay cool and safe. 

And set your calendars for three weeks from today.

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