Sports ShortsRESEARCH AND RUNNING . . . Stanford grad Spencer Castro was named UC Merced's first cross country team. The 22-year-old Castro will also conduct interdisciplinary research with faculty in the Cognitive and Information Sciences program in the School of Social Sciences, Humanities and Arts. "The hurdles we're facing now are setting precedent and tradition," Castro said. "We want to be an example to the Cal Pac even though we're a brand new program. We want to set things to a higher standard." He worked with high school athletes at Stanford's Nike Camp of Champions.
TWIN OAKS . . . Menlo College junior Chris Mazza became the first Menlo College player to be taken in the First-Year Major League Draft in June. On Tuesday, he became the first to sign a professional contract, officially becoming a member of the Minnesota Twins organization. "It was unbelievable because my dream was finally coming true," said Mazza. "I am now a professional baseball player." Mazza was 3-4 with nine saves and a 2.73 ERA for the Oaks this season. He led Menlo to the Southern Division championship of the Cascade League, earning the team its first ever trip to the postseason. He struck out 28 in 29 2/3 innings. Mazza also hit .337 with five home runs and a team-best 41 RBI.
WATER WORKS . . . The Stanford men's water polo team was picked to finish third in a vote of the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation this season. The Cardinal open at the UC Irvine Invitational on Sept. 4 . . . Stanford grad Drac Wigo scored three goals, including a critical penalty shot, to help Team USA beat Hungary, 8-7, at the World University Games in Shenzhen, China and qualify for Friday's quarterfinals. Cardinal grad Sage Wright added two goals. The Americans plays Spain for a chance at the semifinals.
OAKS CORNER . . . Palo Alto High grad Evan Warner had three hits and Jeff Ramirez drove in four runs but the Palo Atlo Oaks fell to the Northwest Wildcats, 10-9, in the championship semifinal game of the Stan Musial World Series in Houston on Saturday night.
COURT CASE . . . The U.S. Mens Team, which features Stanford grads Kawika Shoji, Brad Lawson and Cardinal junior Erik Shoji fell to Thailand, 25-15, 23-25, 25-19, 25-23 on Wednesday at the World University Games in Shenzhen, China, and lost the chance to play for a medal. The U.S. plays for ninth-place Friday against Japan.
style:newitem>COACHING CORNER . . . Palo Alto Knights Youth Football is seeking experienced head and assistant football coaches for the 2011 season. Contact: Mike Piha 269-6100 or email@example.com. . . . Sacred Heart Prep is seeking an assistant cross-country coach. All interested candidates please contact AD Frank Rodriguez at firstname.lastname@example.org or 473.4031.