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Stanford won its fourth consecutive synchronized swimming team title.
Directors' Cup Rewind: 2007-08
Courtesy: David Kiefer  
Release: 06/04/2014

Heading toward the determination of the winner of the 2013-14 Learfield Sports Directors’ Cup, will provide a progression of each of Stanford’s 19 consecutive victories. Here is the 14th, in 2007-08:

Directors' Cup No. 14 (2007-08)  |  2007-08 Season In Photos

Jim Harbaugh caused a stir, and a few chuckles, when he stated: “We bow to no program at Stanford University.”

Coming off a 1-11 football season, few took new coach Jim Harbaugh seriously. But after a 24-23 victory over 41-point favorite USC, the No. 2-ranked team in the country, in what has been dubbed “The greatest upset in college football history,” people started to believe.

USC’s 35-game home winning streak ended when Mark Bradford caught a 10-yard touchdown pass from Tavita Pritchard on fourth-and-goal from the 10-yard-line with 49 seconds left. Pritchard was making his first career start, but led Stanford downfield, hitting Richard Sherman on a 20-yard completion on fourth-and-20 to keep the drive alive.

The game, played before more than 85,000 at the Los Angeles Coliseum, signaled the emergence of a new power in college football. Stanford would improve each year and now has played in four consecutive BCS bowl games.

When the names of the all-time great Stanford athletes are bandied about in conversation, Sara Lowe’s should be among them.

Everything Lowe touched at Stanford turned to gold. The fact that her sport, synchronized swimming, is largely unknown should not take away from Lowe’s accomplishments.

From 2005-2008, Lowe won every national title that she attempted – a total of 14. She won four U.S. Collegiate team titles, four duet championships, and three each in solo and trio. She was the collegiate high point scorer each of her four years.

Now the Stanford coach, she owns a title in that role too. That’s 15 if you’re counting. A bronze medalist at the 2004 Olympics, Lowe now is in the U.S. Synchro Hall of Fame.

Synchro is not an NCAA sport and therefore didn’t count toward the Directors’ Cup standings. But Stanford didn’t need it, securing its 14Th straight Directors’ Cup, scoring 1461 points. Stanford scored in 24 sports, but could only count the maximum 10 men’s and 10 women’s sports. Stanford boasted an impressive 12 top-five finishes  - taking home the women's cross country championship; placing second in women's volleyball, women's basketball, men's gymnastics, and men's golf; third in baseball, men's and women's swimming, women's gymnastics, and women's water polo; and fifth in women's indoor track and field and women's tennis.

In men’s basketball, Brook Lopez made a baseline leaner with 1.3 seconds left to lead Stanford past No. Marquette 82-81 in overtime in the NCAA's South Regional, advancing to the round of 16 for the first time since 2001.

Lopez scored eight of Stanford's 11 points in overtime as the Cardinal took advantage of a big size difference. Brook Lopez, one of Stanford's 7-footers with twin Robin Lopez, finished with 30 points, one shy of a career high. The bucket came on Mitch Johnson's career-high and school-record 16th assist.

Stanford advanced to the Sweet Sixteen, but lost to Texas.

Candice Wiggins led Stanford on an electrifying run through the NCAA women’s basketball tournament, scoring 25 points and grabbing 13 rebounds while getting some timely help from Kayla Pedersen and JJ Hones as Stanford shocked Connecticut 82-73 in the semifinals.

Back in the Final Four for the first time in 11 years, the Cardinal (35-4) avenged an early-season loss to the Huskies. Wiggins, the first player to have two 40-point performances in the same NCAA tournament, finished five assists shy of the first triple-double in women's Final Four history. 

* * *

More highlights from 2007-08:
•    Foluke Akinradewo led Stanford to its second consecutive Pac-10 championship and its second straight NCAA title match. She led the nation with a .499 hitting percentage, the second-best single-season mark in NCAA history, and was named AVCA national and Pac-10 player of the year. Akinradewo, who didn’t play club volleyball growing up, she earned her second straight first-team All-America honor and posted a career-best 26 kills in the team's NCAA Semifinal win.
•    Erica McLain unleashed an other-worldly 47-11 triple jump to win the NCAA outdoor championship by two feet. The mark was long enough for an American record except that the jump was wind-aided. It was the third NCAA title for McLain.
•    Stanford dominated at the U.S. Collegiate synchronized swimming championships, winning its fourth consecutive team title. Melissa Knight, Sara Lowe, Courtenay Stewart won trios; Lowe and Stewart won duet; Lowe won solo, and Corinne Smith won figures.
•    Julia Smit captured the NCAA swimming championship in the 400-yard individual medley, leading the Cardinal to third place in the team competition.
•    The Stanford men’s swimming and diving team also placed third, thanks largely to victories in the 100- and 200 breaststroke by Paul Kornfeld.
•    Stanford won its fifth NCAA title in women’s cross country, paced by Arianna Lambie’s ninth-place finish. Lambie would collect 13 All-America honors in cross country, and indoor and outdoor track and field.

The Final Count:
1)    Stanford, 1,461
2)    UCLA, 1,182
3)    Michigan, 1,161
4)    Arizona State, 1,146
5)    Texas, 1,129

Stanford’s Top Scoring Teams:
1, Women’s cross country, 100 points each; 2 (tie), women’s volleyball, women’s basketball, men’s gymnastics, men’s golf, 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

Directors' Cup No. 9: 2002-03

Directors' Cup No. 10: 2003-04

Directors' Cup No. 11: 2004-05

Directors' Cup No. 12: 2005-06

Directors' Cup No. 12: 2006-07



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