Two-way football standout Marecic honored as Stanford's top athlete


Senior Owen Marecic was presented the Al Masters Award, honoring the school's top athlete, at the annual Stanford Athletic Board Awards Luncheon Thursday.

Marecic, a two-way player in football, was also the winner of the Bob Murphy Award, which goes to the player whose unforgettable performance in an athletic contest secures a place in Stanford Athletics history.

Marecic scored on a rushing play and then returned an interception for a touchdown 13 seconds apart during Stanford's 37-14 victory over host Notre Dame.

With Stanford leading 19-6 in the fourth quarter, Marecic scored on a 1-yard run with 7:58 to play. After only a few minutes to catch his breath, Marecic intercepted a pass on the next offensive play, running it back 20 yards for the score to put Stanford up 34-6.

Four athletes were awarded NCAA Postgraduate Scholarships: Chase Beeler (football), Liz Smith (women's swimming and diving), Xanthe Travlos (field hockey) and Sage Wright (men's water polo).

Pac-10 Postgraduate Scholarships were given to Shelley Alexander (women's gymnastics), Kira Maker (women's soccer), Spencer McLachlin (men's volleyball) and Andrew Phillips (football).

Tiffany Dao (women's rowing) and Brittni Dixon-Smith (women's track and field) received Summer Institute for General Management Scholarships.

New Phi Beta Kappa members included Stephanie Browne (women's volleyball), Samantha Buechner (women's squash), Rebecca Durham (women's golf), Robert Manly (men's rowing), Ali Riley (women's soccer) and Alex Topacio (men's rowing).

Four Stanford athletes were recipients of the NCAA Elite 88 Award, presented to those with the highest cumulative grade-point average participating at the finals site for each of the NCAA-sponsored championships: Nick Amuchastegui (wrestling), Monica Coughlan (women's water polo), Greg Hirshman (men's tennis) and Miles Unterreiner (indoor men's track and field).

The complete list of award winners, in order of presentation:

SHERRY POSTHUMUS CLUB SPORTS TEAM OF THE YEAR AWARD: Ski Team. Outstanding performers were Peter Smillie, who finished in 30th overall at Nationals and Wendy Kalkus, who finished 35th.

SHIRLEY SCHOOF CLUB SPORTS ATHLETE OF THE YEAR: Eric Lau, Cycling. He placed third at the USA Cycling National Collegiate Road Omnium and was sixth in the Nationals Cross Country race.

Russell Field, Polo. He led the team to the final round at the Western Division Regional Championship, narrowly missing a spot at the National Championship.

THOMAS W. FORD AWARD: Football team. They demonstrated a special commitment to participation in local community outreach programs.

WARRIOR AWARD: (In honor of Arthur F. Daur, 1959) Graham Brockington, men's golf and Jennifer Yen, women's tennis. Administered by the Director of Sports Performance, this award honors the student-athlete who not only displays maximum effort on and off the field of competition, but also brings out the best in his/her teammates through positive attitude, relentless work ethic and consistent commitment to performance enhancement.

BILL WALSH LEADERSHIP AWARD: Sarah Flynn, women's lacrosse.

CONFERENCE MALE ATHLETE OF THE YEAR: Zack Giesen, wrestling; Elliott Heath, track and field/cross country; Chad La Tourette, swimming.

CONFERENCE FEMALE ATHLETE OF THE YEAR: Kate Dwelley, swimming; Leslie Foard, lacrosse; Ashley Hansen, softball; Elle Logan, crew; Xanthe Travlos, field hockey.

SPIRIT OF STANFORD AWARD: (In memory of Frankie Albert, 1942) Andrew Luck, football.

BLOCK "S" OUTSTANDING MALE FRESHMAN AWARD: Anthony Brown, basketball; Eric Mochalski, volleyball; Brian Ragira, baseball.

BLOCK "S" OUTSTANDING FEMALE FRESHMAN AWARD: Kristie Ahn, tennis; Maya DiRado, swimming; Nicole Gibbs, tennis; Chiney Ogwumike, basketball.

BLOCK "S" OUTSTANDING MALE SOPHOMORE AWARD: Ryan Mango, wrestling; Stephen Piscotty, baseball; Shayne Skov, football; Andrew Yun, golf.

BLOCK "S" OUTSTANDING FEMALE SOPHOMORE AWARD: Annika Dries, water polo; Becky Dru, field hockey; Teagan Gerhart, softball.

BLOCK "S" OUTSTANDING MALE JUNIOR AWARD: Nick Amuchastegui, wrestling; Bradley Klahn, tennis; Brad Lawson, volleyball; Erik Shoji, volleyball.

BLOCK "S" OUTSTANDING FEMALE JUNIOR AWARD: Nnemkadi Ogwumike, basketball; Melissa Seidemann, water polo; Katerina Stefanidi, track and field.

BLOCK "S" HONORS AWARD FOR MEN: (senior letterwinner with the highest GPA) Greg Hirshman, tennis.

BLOCK "S" HONORS AWARD FOR WOMEN: Kelsey Ditto, swimming.

JAKE GIMBEL AWARD: (best competitive attitude, male senior) Doug Baldwin, football; Lucas Espericueta, wrestling.

PAM STRATHAIRN AWARD: (best competitive attitude, female senior) Hilary Barte, tennis; Kayla Pedersen, basketball; Lauren Schmidt, lacrosse.

DICK AND ANNE GOULD CAPTAIN'S AWARD: (In honor of their three "Captain Children": Karin (USC swimming), Rick (Stanford swimming) and Kim (Harvard volleyball) Alex Clayton, tennis; Kim Hall, water polo.

THE BIFF HOFFMAN AWARD: (Outstanding male senior) Alex Buscaglia, gymnastics; Tim Gentry, gymnastics; Austin Staab, swimming.

STANFORD ATHLETIC BOARD AWARD: (Outstanding female senior) Alix Klineman, volleyball; Jeanette Pohlen, basketball; Christen Press, soccer.

DONALD KENNEDY AWARD: Chase Beeler, football; Sarah Flynn, lacrosse.

THE AL MASTERS AWARD: Owen Marecic, football.

— Palo Alto Online Sports

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