Sports

Stanford signs nation's top polo recruit in Ben Hallock

 

Stanford head men's water polo coach John Vargas has announced the signing of Ben Hallock, regarded as the nation's top collegiate men's water polo prospect in the 2016 class.

A native of Studio City in Southern California, Hallock has not only starred at Harvard-Westlake School the past four years, but the 6-5, 210-pound standout is also the youngest member of the United States Men's Water Polo Senior National Team.

"This recruiting class is one of the best we've ever had," said Vargas. "This class is very talented and features some exceptional students. It's hard to replace standouts like Bret (Bonanni) and BJ (Churnside), but if there is a class that can, it's this one. I'm very excited about the future and honored to lead a team of young men who have historically become some of the top CEO's, physicians, and engineers in the country."

In his most recent competition with the United States Senior National Team, Hallock scored four goals and added two assists to help lead Team USA to a third-place finish in the 2015 FINA Intercontinental Tournament last April. He played alongside former Stanford standouts Tony Azevedo, Bret Bonanni, Janson Wigo and Alex Bowen, and future Cardinal teammates Jackson Kimbell and Drew Holland. Hallock also competed in the 2015 Volvo Cup and the 2014-15 Senior Team Games for USA Water Polo.

Honored as the 2015 Los Angeles Daily News Player of the Year, Hallock scored 97 goals and added 86 assists despite missing three weeks of his senior season this past fall. He guiding the Wolverines to a 24-3 record and their third straight appearance in the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) Finals.

Hallock also was named the CIF Division I Player of the Year for a second year in a row in 2015.

"Players like Ben come around once every 10 to 15 years, Vargas said. "He is physically gifted, academically talented, and a natural leader."

Hallock led Harvard-Westlake to the CIF Southern Section Division I championship as a sophomore and junior. He led the Wolverines to a perfect 29-0 record as a junior, sharing CIF Division I Player of the Year honors with Johnny Hooper in 2014.

The 2-meter standout averaged 4.6 goals, 2.4 assists and drew 4.3 exclusions per game as a junior.

Hallock also starred for the Stars & Stripes Bruin Water Polo Club.

Stanford completed the 2015 season with a 22-8 overall record, placing fifth in the MPSF Championships.

Baseball

Pac-12 coaches picked Stanford baseball to finish seventh in the conference in 2016.

The Pac-12 Baseball Preseason Coaches Poll was released on Thursday morning with Oregon State selected as the favorite. The Beavers earned 98 points and eight first-place votes, while Stanford garnered 49 points.

Defending champion UCLA was picked second with 89 points, followed by Cal (84), Oregon (71), USC (67) and Arizona State (50). Behind the Cardinal was Washington (34), Arizona (31), Washington State (17) and Utah (15).

Stanford, which finished 10th in the Pac-12 last season at 24-32 overall and 9-21 in conference play, returns six everyday starters and nearly all of its pitching. Offensively, the Cardinal will have more than 75 percent of its at-bats, runs, hits, home runs, RBI and extra-base hits back for 2016. The pitching staff returns more than 70 percent of its starts, wins, innings pitched and strikeouts as well as Cal Quantrill and John Hochstatter, who each missed the majority of last season.

More than half of Stanford's home schedule features 2015 NCAA tournament teams, including 2015 national runner-up Vanderbilt, Cal State Fullerton, and Pac-12 rivals Cal and USC. In all, the Cardinal will play 27 games against teams currently ranked in the Top 25.

— Stanford Athletics

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