Heading toward the determination of the winner of the 2013-14 Learfield Sports Directors’ Cup, gostanford.com will provide a progression of each of Stanford’s 19 consecutive victories. Here is the ninth, in 2002-03:
Directors' Cup No. 9 (2002-03) | 2002-03 Season In Photos
PERHAPS THE BEST part of winning 14 All-America honors and five NCAA track and field championships is that it helped give Lauren Fleshman a voice.
Fleshman, the former Stanford star who went on to win two U.S. titles, has taken advantage of that platform. Just recently, Fleshman stirred the track establishment by voicing her anger on the hiring of a former drug cheat to a U.S. national team coaching position. She also has spoken out about how model shoots, even one of herself, are unrealistic in their portrayal of women. It’s important, she says, to be content and accepting of body imperfections.
But back in the spring of 2003, Fleshman was making history as the second-ever in NCAA women’s track to win three consecutive national titles in the 5,000 meters. Aided by a pro-Stanford crowd in Sacramento, Fleshman made a decisive move with 300 left to earn the victory and, within months, was competing in France in the first of her three World Championship appearances for the national team.
Fleshman provided just one of many highlights during the Stanford sports year, as the Cardinal won its ninth consecutive Directors' Cup with a total of 1,420.5 points, surpassing the runner-up, Texas by 326.5. Stanford won a national championship in men's cross country and had 16 top-10 finishes, with nine teams finishing among the top five.
Stanford teams placing in the top five were women's cross country (2nd), women's volleyball (2nd), women's tennis (2nd), baseball (2nd), men's soccer (2nd), men's swimming and diving (3rd), men's tennis (3rd), and women's soccer (5th). The Cardinal recorded points in the maximum of 10 women's and 10 men's sports, and averaged 71 points per sport.
The Cardinal baseball team reached its third College World Series championship game in four seasons, finished with a 51-18 record, tying for third on the school's all-time win list, and captured its first outright Pac-10 title since 1999.
At the CWS, the Cardinal battled back from a second round loss to Cal State Fullerton to win its bracket and extend national champion Rice to a third and deciding game in the inaugural CWS Championship Series.
A star-studded Stanford team included eight future major leaguers – Sam Fuld, Ryan Garko, John Hester, Jed Lowrie, Donny Lucy, John Mayberry Jr., Danny Putnam, and Carlos Quentin – and 21 future pros.
Garko hit .402 (the team’s highest average in 12 years), tied the Stanford season record with 92 RBI, and had more home runs (18) than strikeouts (17). He won the Johnny Bench Award as the nation’s top catcher, was the Pac-10 co-Player of the Year, a first-team All-America, the region’s Most Outstanding Player, and an All-CWS selection.
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More highlights from 2002-03:
• Stanford won its third NCAA men’s cross country title, scoring 47 points in coach Vin Lananna’s final season. Lananna coached the Cardinal to four NCAA cross country titles (three men’s and one women’s), and the men to the 2000 outdoor track and field championship during his 10 years.
• Stanford reached its second men’s soccer final, only to fall to UCLA, 1-0, on a goal in the 88th minute. Both defender Todd Dunivant, a first-team All-America, and Chad Marshall would go on to play for the U.S. national team.
• Goalkeeper Nicole Barnhart set an NCAA women’s soccer record with 18 shutouts in a season. Barnhart allowed only four goals (0.19 goals-against average) in 2,047 minutes while leading the Cardinal to a 21-1-1 record and a berth in the NCAA quarterfinals.
• Grant Robison became the third Stanford runner in four years to win the NCAA men’s outdoor 1,500-meter title in track and field.
• Ten-time All-America Alicia Craig won first of her two consecutive 10,000 track crowns.
• Amber Liu won the first of her two NCAA women’s singles championships in 2003, and would become the fourth-ever at Stanford to win more than one.
• Peter Marshall won the NCAA title in the 100-yard backstroke, helping the Cardinal to third in the NCAA men’s swimming and diving championships.
• Tara Kirk won the 100 and 200 breaststroke at the NCAA women’s swimming and diving championships.
• Stephanie Joukoff, Jennifer Kibler, and Ashley McHugh combined to win the U.S. collegiate synchronized swimming title in trio.
The Final Count:
1) Stanford, 1,420.5
2) Texas, 1,094
3) Ohio State, 1,074.8
4) Michigan, 1,034.3
5) Penn State, 993
Stanford’s Top Scoring Teams:
1, Men’s cross country, 100 points; 2 (tie), women’s cross country, men’s soccer, women’s volleyball, baseball, women’s tennis, 90 each.
Directors' Cup No. 1: 1994-95
Directors' Cup No. 2: 1995-96
Directors' Cup No. 3: 1996-97
Directors' Cup No. 4: 1997-98
Directors' Cup No. 5: 1998-99
Directors' Cup No. 6: 1999-2000
Directors' Cup No. 7: 2000-01
Directors' Cup No. 8: 2001-02