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 15th, in 2008-09:
Directors' Cup No. 15 (2008-09) | 2008-09 Season In Photos
FOR ALL THE success of Stanford women’s basketball history, there have been few individual performances more memorable than Jayne Appel’s 46-point night against Iowa State to send the Cardinal to its eighth Final Four.
Stanford's imposing 6-foot-4 junior with neon-pink fingernails and a dancer's grace broke Candice Wiggins' single-game school scoring record with her final basket for the Cardinal, which finished 33-5. It was the third-highest scoring output in NCAA tournament history. And, oh yes, she also grabbed 16 rebounds in the 74-53 victory in Berkeley.
Appel dazzled the supportive Bay Area crowd with one beguiling move after another, seemingly oblivious to Iowa State's sadly inadequate low-post coverage. Tough enough to physically dominate the low-post mosh pit, but slick enough to emerge without a scratch.
The Cardinal women’s basketball team did its part as Stanford took home its 15th consecutive Learfield Sports Directors’ Cup, scoring 1,455 points. Stanford scored points in 22 total sports, but could only count the maximum 10 men’s and 10 women’s sports. Stanford boasted an impressive 14 top-10 finishes this season - taking home the men’s gymnastics and the women’s rowing titles.
The women’s rowing team claimed its first-ever team and I Eight national championships in thrilling fashion. With the team title coming down to the I Eight Grand Final, the last race of the day, the Stanford crew put to rest any memories of last season's tough defeat by jumping to a lead out of the gate and refusing to yield to Virginia over the entire 2,000-meter course, edging the Cavalier crew by 0.37 of a second to claim the individual gold as well as the team title.
The men’s gymnastics team trailed California by 1.1 points going into the final rotation of the NCAA Championships, but showed the crowd why they were the top-ranked still rings squad in the nation, providing a clutch 61.800 performance on the apparatus to clinch the title. Senior Bryant Hadden took the event title with a 15.550 to help rally Stanford, which scored 362.800 to edge runner-up Michigan by 1.3 points.
Sho Nakamori captained the team and earned Gymnast of the Year honors from the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation. Nakamori went on to earn the Al Masters Award, Stanford Athletics’ highest honor.
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More highlights from 2008-09:
• Two-time Pac-10 Player of the Year Foluke Akinradewo, Cynthia Barboza, and Alix Klineman each were named first-team All-Americans by the AVCA as Stanford reached the NCAA women’s volleyball final, rallying from a 0-2 deficit in the semifinal against Texas.
• Austin Staab won the 100-yard butterfly in NCAA- and American-record time of 44.18 and Jason Dunford was a member of three school-record setting relays, to help the Cardinal to third in the country.
• Stanford’s tandem of 2008 Olympic medalists – Elaine Breeden and Julia Smit – combined to win three NCAA individual titles in 2009. Breeden won the 200 fly, and Smit won the 200 and 400 individual medleys.
• Stanford softball pitcher Missy Penna went 35-8, had 40 complete games, and a school-record 18 shutouts.
• Kelley O’Hara scored on a breakaway in the 87th minute against powerhouse North Carolina in a double-overtime 1-1 draw that helped launch Stanford as an elite program. With the help of Palo Alto high school products and freshmen first-team All-Americans Teresa Noyola and Lindsay Taylor, Stanford advanced to the NCAA College Cup, where it lost to Notre Dame.
• Under new coach Amy Bokker, Stanford went undefeated in MPSF play, won the conference tournament,and assembled a 14-4 record. The team capped off its season with a shocking 8-6 road victory at No. 3 Penn, but the Cardinal suffered a heartbreaking snub for an NCAA at-large berth.
• Toby Gerhart set a Stanford single-season rushing record of 1,136 yards for the Cardinal football team.
• Enter the Sandman, Jimmie Sandman that is. The Stanford goalie was named MPSF Player of the Year and earned first-team All-America honors in leading the Cardinal to the NCAA men’s water polo title game and a 25-6 record.
The Final Count:
1) Stanford, 1,455
2) North Carolina, 1,184.25
3) Florida, 1,172.75
4) USC, 1,137.75
5) Michigan, 1,131.8
Stanford’s Top Scoring Teams:
1 (tie), Men’s gymnastics, women’s rowing, each 100 points; 3, women’s volleyball, 90; 4 (tie), men’s cross country, men’s swimming and diving, 85.
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
Directors' Cup No. 9: 2002-03
Directors' Cup No. 10: 2003-04
Directors' Cup No. 11: 2004-05
Directors' Cup No. 12: 2005-06