|Rich Barnes/Icon SMI|
3-day weekend. Lazy start to summer vacation. Before we close the books on the 2010-2011 school year, let's celebrate some deserving athletic achievements by two schools that are known more for academic success than success on the playing fields.
This weekend, the Northwestern Wildcats, the school that other Big Ten fans mockingly say are kept around to boost the conference GPA, won their sixth NCAA championship in seven years in women's lacrosse. It's not a sport that draws the audiences of football or basketball, but the athletes work just as hard and deserve the same credit when that work pays off. Congratulations to a group of young women who demonstrate that it's possible to excel on both the playing field and in the classroom.
Also this weekend, congratulations to the Rice Owls baseball team, who won both the Conference USA regular season and conference tournament -- the latter by an extra-inning 4-3 win over cross-town rival University of Houston. Good luck to the Owls in the NCAA tournament, which picked Rice as one of the eight top regional seeds in the 64-team tournament. The tournament climaxes in the College World Series starting June 18 in Omaha, Nebraska. Rice won it all in 2003.