June 23, 2005
Stanford, Calif. - Stanford answered the ultimate challenge put forth by Lexus--the university defeated its arch rival Cal in a year-long, all-sports competition and now owns the first annual Lexus Gauntlet trophy. The Cardinal won the prized award and with it bragging rights of athletic supremacy in the Bay Area by edging the Golden Bears, 70-65.
The Northern California Lexus Dealers Association presented the 150-pound, pewter-gilded trophy representing the all-encompassing Lexus Gauntlet championship to Stanford Director of Athletics Ted Leland today.
"We're pleased to bring the Lexus Gauntlet trophy home to Stanford," said Leland. "This has been an amazing year for our athletic department. This trophy is a tribute to the triumph and sportsmanship of our outstanding student-athletes and exceptional coaching staffs in this passionate rivalry. We are proud of the tradition of excellence in all our sports."
A portion of the Lexus Gauntlet sponsorship is provided in recognition of good sportsmanship in competition between the schools. An annual scholarship recipient at both schools is determined and recognized at the end of each academic year when the Lexus Gauntlet trophy is presented.
Susan King Borchardt was named Stanford's first recipient of the scholarship for outstanding sportsmanship. The graduating senior from Richfield, Minn., battled back from knee injuries to become an outstanding guard for the Cardinal women's basketball team. She is now playing with the WNBA's Minnesota Lynx.
The battle for the Lexus Gauntlet (which concluded on May 15) saw Stanford and Cal compete against each other in 26 designated varsity sports. Points were awarded toward the Lexus Gauntlet trophy for every meeting between the Cardinal and Bears. A total of 135 points were up for grabs between each sport's season series and conference championships (for those teams that didn't meet head-to-head). The magic number to clinch the trophy outright was 70 points.
Despite Cal's early lead in the Lexus Gauntlet after capturing 10 football points in The Big Game, the Stanford men came back to earn pivotal Gauntlet points in basketball, cross country and golf. The Cardinal men also split series in water polo and tennis. The Stanford women showed their prowess throughout the competition, winning nine of the 14 events, including: cross country, basketball, tennis, swimming, softball, gymnastics, lacrosse, water polo and track. The Cardinal women also tied Cal to win points in volleyball and soccer.
The two universities signed a three-year contract with Lexus, America's best-selling luxury automotive manufacturer. In return Lexus of Northern California will receive prominent sponsorship recognition and promotional opportunities as the leading sponsor of both the Cal and Stanford athletic departments.