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Q&A: The most notable winning streaks in sports

Boston Celtics’ Bill Russell, left, and coach Red Auerbach celebrate NBA title No. 8.

Associated Press (1966)

Boston Celtics’ Bill Russell, left, and coach Red Auerbach celebrate NBA title No. 8.

Notable winning streaks

What's the most impressive team winning streak in sports?

There are plenty of choices, and the title of most impressive is something reasonable people can disagree on. And we will no doubt leave a few deserving teams out of this listing.

On the professional level, you have the New York Yankees' 26 MLB world titles, including five in a row and 10 in a 16-year span, and the Boston Celtics' eight straight NBA titles and 11 in 13 years between 1956 and 1969. The Green Bay Packers won five NFL titles in seven years between 1961 and 1967. The Montreal Canadiens won five straight NHL championships from 1956 to 1960.

In college football, Oklahoma won 47 straight games between 1953 and 1957, and two national championships.

In men's college basketball, UCLA once won 88 straight games, and 10 championships in 12 seasons between 1964 and 1975. In women's play, the University of Tennessee won eight titles between 1987 and 2008, including three in a row in 1996-97-98. The University of Connecticut also won three in a row, in 2002-03-04.

College wrestling has Oklahoma State with 34 national titles, and the University of Iowa with 21 since 1975.

Locally, we have the amazing Brandon High School wrestling streak of 459 straight dual matches, stretching from 1973 to 2008. Brandon also won seven straight team titles and 18 total. Another high school wrestling team, from Perry, Okla., won 11 straight state titles and has 32 total.

Then you have the De La Salle (Calif.) high school football team winning 151 straight from 1992 to 2004, and the Passaic (N.J.) high school basketball team's streak of 159 between 1915 and 1924.

But for long-term dominance, it's hard to top the Kenyon (Ohio) College men's swimming team. It has won the NCAA Division III title for a mind-boggling 29 straight years, since 1980. The Kenyon women's swimming team isn't too shabby either, winning 22 of the last 25 championships. And it's all been under the same coach — Jim Steen, whose 51 titles is the NCAA record.

Kenyon is a private liberal arts college in Gambier, Ohio, about 60 miles northeast of Columbus. It has about 1,600 students, awards no athletic scholarships and counts writer E.L. Doctorow, President Rutherford B. Hayes, actors Paul Newman and Allison Janney, and Calvin and Hobbes cartoonist Bill Watterson among its alumni.

Shuttle was 220 miles high

I'd like to know how high up the shuttle was and how fast it was going. Also, how long does it take to go around the Earth?

Space shuttle Endeavour was at an altitude of 210 to 220 miles once it reached the International Space Station. Endeavour and the station were moving about 17,500 mph, taking them 90 minutes to orbit Earth. Shuttle and station orbited Earth 16 times per day.

Q&A: The most notable winning streaks in sports 12/15/08 [Last modified: Monday, December 15, 2008 11:44am]
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