Palo Alto Weekly

Sports - June 10, 2011

Tennis duo is nation's top team

Hansen among four finalists for the Honda Award in collegiate softball

by Rick Eymer

The 2011 college tennis season has ended, but the honors are still arriving for the nation's best players and teams that competed at the NCAA Championships at Stanford last month.

The 2011 Campbell/ITA National College Players of the Year have been announced and Stanford's duo of senior Hilary Barte and sophomore Mallory Burdette are the national Women's Doubles Team of the Year.

Stanford has now produced the past two NCAA champion doubles teams while recently capturing Stanford's 14th overall collegiate doubles title in school history, and seventh since the NCAA adopted its current format in 1982.

Barte, a four-time ITA All-American in both singles and doubles, concludes her star-studded college career with back-to-back doubles titles while Burdette collects her first career trophy to join older sisters, Lindsay (2010 champion) and Erin (2005 champion) as national champions.

Ranked third nationally and seeded fourth in the postseason draw, Barte and Burdette were simply dominant down the stretch, having won 15 consecutive matches since their last loss almost two months ago to close out the season with a 30-6 overall record.

Cal's Jana Juricova, the 2011 NCAA singles champ, is the women's player of the year while Steve Johnson of USC is the men's winner. John-Patrick Smith and Boris Conkic of Tennessee won the men's doubles honor.

Men's golf

Stanford sophomore Andrew Yun, who posted seven top-five finishes among his 11 events this year, has been named a PING First Team All-American as announced by the Golf Coaches Association of America.

Yun was Stanford's top finisher in nine of the team's 11 events this past season and won his first collegiate title at The Prestige at PGA West, one of his seven top-five finishes on the year.

A first team All-Pac-10 selection, Yun was also a semifinalist for the Hogan Award, which honors the top player in collegiate golf.

Rowing

The Stanford Lightweight I Eight made it back-to-back IRA national titles Saturday at the IRA Championships, capturing the crown by outlasting No. 1 Princeton by less than a second in an exciting Grand Final in Cherry Hill, N.J.

It is the second straight national title for the women's I Eight, guided by head coach Al Acosta. And for the second straight year, the Cardinal overcame the nation's No. 1 boat in the Grand Final, having defeated Wisconsin in 2010.

The Stanford women's Lightweight Four, meanwhile, turned in a runner-up effort in its Grand Final, behind Wisconsin.

"Hats off to Princeton for a phenomenal effort and one of the best races I've seen out there over the past 10 years," said Acosta. "I am very proud of the four. They improved dramatically from race to race and had their best performance of the year today. In the eight, winning this race for the second time was a lot harder than the first. The team did a great job when it mattered the most. We are all happy that we were able to send off Gretchen Stumhofer, our only senior, with another national championship."

In the I Eight championship, it quickly became a two-boat race as Stanford and Princeton battled it out. As the race closed in on the finish line, the Cardinal and Tigers had far out-distanced crews from Wisconsin, Radcliffe, Bucknell and Georgetown, and it came down to the boat with the strongest final push.

It would be Stanford in the end that grabbed the proverbial brass ring, crossing the line with a time of 6:32.392, edging out Princeton by 0.681 of a second.

Softball

Stanford All-American shortstop Ashley Hansen is one of four nominees for the 2010-11 Honda Sports Award for softball, as announced by the Collegiate Women Sports Awards.

Earlier, Hansen was named the 2011 ASA/USA Softball National Player of the Year and a First Team Louisville Slugger/NFCA All-American. The junior became the first national player of the year for Stanford softball and picked up her second career All-America honors.

The 2011 Pac-10 Player of the Year, Hansen led the nation in doubles per game (0.45) and ranked third in batting average (.495). The Chandler, Ariz., native leads the conference in batting average, on-base percentage (.558), hits (95) and doubles (25). She finished her third season on The Farm with 29 multi-hit games and 10 multi-RBI games. She struck out just five times all season, making her the third-toughest player in the nation to strike out.

Hansen also set Stanford single season records for hits (95), batting average (.495) and slugging percentage (.797), while ranking in the top-10 with 25 doubles (2nd) and 51 runs scored (t7th).

Hansen joins Kelsey Bruder (Florida), Jolene Henderson (California) and Chelsea Thomas (Missouri) as the four candidates for the award. The winner after nationwide balloting will become a candidate for The Honda-Broderick Cup awarded annually to The Collegiate Woman Athlete of the Year.

Track and field

Stephanie Marcy gave the Stanford women their first points of the NCAA Championships on Wednesday, finishing sixth in the 10,000 meters at Drake Stadium in Des Moines, Iowa.

Marcy, who stayed with the leaders for all but the final two laps, finished in a time of 34:35.18 to earn All-American honors in the event for the second straight season. The Cardinal senior competes in the 5,000 on Friday. Duke's Juliet Bottorff won the 10,000 in 34:25.86

Benjamin Johnson and JT Sullivan in the 3,000 steeplechase, and Amaechi Morton in the 400 intermediate hurdles, will give the Cardinal men's team a chance to score big on Friday as each advanced to the finals of their respective events in convincing fashion.

Johnson and Sullivan qualified with the second- and third-fastest times of the day, each racing a personal best. Johnson went 8:40.32, fourth all-time in school history, and Sullivan finished in 8:41.46, sixth best on the all-time list.

Morton went a season-best 49.31 to win his heat of the hurdles. He will enter Friday's final as the No. 2 seed behind two-time defending champion Jeshua Anderson of Washington State.

Geoffrey Tabor went 173-10 with his first toss of the discus, but then fouled on his next two attempts, finishing 19th overall and earning All-American honorable mention.

Brittni Dixon-Smith earned second team All-American honors after finishing 12th overall in the women's long jump with a best of 20-5 3/4 on her third attempt.

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