At 2 a.m., last Tuesday morning, I walked alone down Cass Street, past the glass of the Hilton Hotel, and saw in the lobby 20 or 30 baseball fans dressed in Wildcat red. It was last call and the party was nowhere near an end.
Director of athletics Greg Byrne was still there, as giddy as he had been three hours earlier when Arizona won the College World Series. Nearby were several UA baseball players, including Brandon Dixon, whose ninth-inning double had won the national championship.
Each of the celebrations from The Greatest Week in Tucson Sports History were distinctly different.
Tucson Ford Aquatics swimmer Clark Buckle, bound for London, shared his Olympic moment in downtown Omaha, sipping Dom Perignon champagne with his family.
UA hurdler Georganne Moline spent four hours being processed, first by USA Track and Field’s drug-testing people, and then by those who put in order her travel itinerary to London. A Sunday night celebration? Her flight from Eugene, Ore., would leave at 5:45 a.m. Monday.
Sahuaro High grad Caitlin Leverenz, Olympic Trials swimming champion in the 200 IM, took her little sister, Brianna to Ted and Wally’s Ice Cream Shop in downtown Omaha.
There has never been another week like it in Tucson sports, now or then, at the Final Four or at the Fiesta Bowl or anywhere at any time.
“My god, it’s such a special time,” said UA track coach Fred Harvey, “I haven’t had time to do research on what other institutions have ever done what we did last week, but it’s a very small number.”
Read more in Tuesday's Arizona Daily Star.