Just how crazy is the run of athletic success that Tufts has been on over the past few years? Well, consider the fact that when we began reporting this issue’s cover package several months ago, we were confident that we had a good sense of the scope of the project. We spoke with coaches and student-athletes from past and present. We interviewed athletic director John Morris and director of athletics communications Paul Sweeney. We scoured the record books here at Tufts.
By the time we were through with all of that digging, and the well-known Boston sportswriter John Tomase, A95, had filed his piece, we knew we had a great story to tell. Tufts may have been somewhat late to athletic glory, but it has been more than making up for lost time. Thanks to the work of three successive athletic directors, a burst of generous philanthropy that has funded the construction and renovation of athletics facilities that are the envy of the Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC), and some sharp hiring of coaches—who in turn have helped recruit more and more top-flight athletes—the Jumbos are now accumulating victories at an altogether staggering rate.
As Tomase’s original draft detailed, the Jumbos in their history had won a total of nine NCAA team championships, forty-five individual championships, and forty-six NESCAC titles—with much of that success (including all of the NCAA team championships) coming since 2010. Now that’s quite an impressive development, especially for a school where on-field winning hasn’t always been the norm. So we excitedly set about designing our cover story. But just as we were putting the finishing touches on the whole thing…the Jumbos kept right on winning.
It started in February, when the men’s swimming and diving team won its first-ever NESCAC title, and, in the process, snapped Williams’ string of fifteen straight conference championships. That bit of happy news came early enough that we were able to update the numbers in our story, and work a mention of the victory into Tomase’s introduction. Crisis averted! But as I write this, it’s a Monday in mid-March and just this past weekend Tufts student-athletes have gone and done it again—twice. At the 2018 Division III indoor track and field championships, Brittany Bowman, A18, set a Tufts record while winning in the 5,000 meters. And Stefan Duvivier, A18, likewise set a school record with his win in the high jump competition. Sadly, these triumphs, which bring to forty-seven the number of Tufts individual championships, came too late in the editorial process to make it into the story that starts on page 20.
Suffice it to say that we will all be relieved to at last wrap this issue, because if there’s one thing our Jumbo athletes have made clear it’s that they have no plans of slowing down any time soon, and we’re running out of ways to account for all their winning.