March 3, 2009
STANFORD, Calif. - Five Stanford sports are currently the top-ranked programs in each sport's respective poll as of today, while three other sports check in with a top-five distinction.
Head coach Thom Glielmi's gymnasts, tabbed No. 1 in the preseason rankings, are currently 6-3 against NCAA squads and are owners of the highest team total recorded in NCAA competition this year thus far (358.800), achieved last weekend at home against the Japanese Collegiate All-Star team. Along with owning the top team three-score average, which determines the rankings, the Cardinal is the nation's best team on three apparatuses (floor exercise, still rings, and horizontal bar).
Senior Bryant Hadden is the nation's leading ring man while redshirt senior Sho Nakamori is the best in the nation on parallel bars. Stanford also has a number of gymnasts ranked in the top 10 on each of the six apparatuses.
On the courts, head coach John Whitlinger has led the men's tennis program back to the top of the collegiate tennis world for the first time since February 13, 2002 following two huge wins over then No. 4 USC and No. 7 UCLA last weekend in Los Angeles, the first time the Cardinal has achieved the feat since 2006. Stanford is 11-1 overall, defeating nine ranked opponents and suffering its only loss to then No. 3 Georgia in the ITA National Team Indoor Championship semifinals.
The Cardinal touts three ranked players in No. 14 sophomore Alex Clayton, No. 36 freshman Bradley Klahn, and No. 109 junior Richard Wire. Additionally, Wire and his partner senior Blake Muller are the nation's No. 33 doubles pair.
Men's swimming and diving (8-0, 5-0 Pac-10) enters the Pac-10 Championships as the unanimous No. 1 team in the country. Stanford completed a perfect regular season in Pac-10 dual meet action and will look for their 28th consecutive Pac-10 title this weekend.
The Cardinal are led by senior captains Nate Cass, Jason Dunford and Paul Kornfeld. Each are nationally-ranked in at least two events as well as being key contributors in relays. In addition junior Eugene Godsoe is currently ranked No. 1 in the nation in both the 100 and 200 backstroke. Freshman Chad La Tourette is the other top ranked national swimmer in the 1,650 free.
Stanford women's swimming and diving finished the 2009 dual meet season as the No. 1 ranked team in the country according to the final CSCAA poll (College Swim Coaches Association of America), which was released on Feb. 26. The Cardinal compiled 297 points and seven of the 10 first place votes to surpass Georgia, which logged 293 points (three first place votes). This is the second time Stanford has been tabbed the top dual-meet team in the country, with both coming under the guidance of head coach Lea Maurer (also 2006-07).
Stanford finished the regular season undefeated for the second time in the last three years and the 15th time in program history. The Cardinal's 20-0 record featured nine wins in head-to-head competition over a two-day span at the Anteater Shootout (Nov. 7-8), victories over Michigan and Florida in an Oct. 17 tri-meet and nine wins the traditional dual meet format. Stanford has defeated 40 of its last 41 opponents in head-to-head competition, while winning 19 consecutive Pac-10 dual meets.
Women's water polo, with a 12-1 overall mark and an unblemished 2-0 record in MPSF play, took over the top spot in the CWPA Division I Poll on Feb. 25 after capturing the Irvine Invitational championship the previous weekend. In that title run, the Cardinal downed previously top-ranked USC, 12-11 in sudden-death overtime.
The Cardinal women have enjoyed the successful debut of its freshman class, led by two-meter Melissa Seidemann, who scored 10 goals during the Irvine Invitational, including three and the game-winner against USC, to capture MPSF Player of the Week honors on Feb. 23. Additionally, 2008 All-Americans Kelly Eaton (24 goals) and Lauren Silver (nine goals in five games) have contributed to Stanford's early-season success.
Also, women's basketball is ranked second in both the Associated Press and USA Today/ESPN Coaches Polls, women's gymnastics is currently ranked third in the nation, and softball is tabbed No. 5/6.
The Cardinal is currently in the lead with 394 points in its quest for its 15th-straight Learfield Sports Directors' Cup. Oregon follows in second place with 323 points. Updated standings for the Director's Cup will be available on March 12 on the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics site.