Stanford men claim first Capital One Cup for excellence


Fueled by an NCAA championship in soccer and six top-10 finishes, Stanford captured its first Capital One Cup on the men's side as the nation's most successful athletics program during the 2015-16 campaign.

The Capital One Cup is awarded annually to the best men's and women's NCAA Division I athletics programs for their cumulative on-field performance across multiple sports.

The Cardinal women had its three-year title streak end, with USC claiming the top spot over second-place Stanford.

Schools earn points based on their teams' top-10 finishes in NCAA championships and final official coaches' polls across 21 women's and 20 men's sports.

USC and Stanford will receive a combined $400,000 in student-athlete scholarships and also be recognized at the 2016 ESPYS on July 13.

It's the first time the Capital One Cup is being awarded to two athletic programs in the same conference.

The Stanford men totaled 126 points, edging runner-up North Carolina (108) and third-place Ohio State (80).

Highlighted by an NCAA title in men's soccer, the Cardinal continued its success in the fall with top-10 finishes from football (Rose Bowl champions, Pac-12 champions, 12-2 overall) and men's water polo (22-8 overall, ranked No. 5 in final CWPA poll).

"It's uplifting to see our student-athletes receive this recognition and I laud their strength in juggling both academics and athletics," Stanford Athletics Director Bernard Muir said. "As a first for our men's athletics program, we proudly welcome this addition to the Capital One Cup trophies bearing the Stanford University name and would like to thank Capital One for its support of college athletics."

A strong season from men's track and field (eighth at NCAA Championships, sixth at MPSF Championships) was nearly followed up by another national championship effort in men's gymnastics (NCAA runner-up, 10th top-three NCAA finish in 11 seasons). Rounding out the top-10 efforts was men's volleyball (19-6 overall, ranked No. 6 in final AVCA poll).

It's also the fourth Capital One Cup trophy to be awarded to a Stanford athletics program, as the Cardinal took home its third title on the women's side in 2015.

The Cardinal women earned a second place finish with 90 points as a result of a national championship in tennis as well as top-10 finishes in soccer, gymnastics, swimming and diving, golf, lacrosse, outdoor track and field, rowing and water polo.

Stanford claimed four national championships during the past academic year, increasing its overall total to 132. Of Stanford's 132 championships, 109 are NCAA titles, with women's tennis also claiming the hardware in 2016.

Additionally, the Cardinal captured its sixth lightweight rowing title in the past seven seasons, while also collecting a national crown in synchronized swimming.

Women's track and field

Michelle Eisenreich, Stanford's associate head coach the past four years, has been named head women's coach at Princeton University, overseeing track and field and cross country, the Ivy League school announced Wednesday.

Eisenreich coached the Cardinal throwers after arriving from another Ivy League program: Brown University.

"While we are certainly sad to see Michelle leave Stanford, this is an outstanding and very well-deserved opportunity for her at Princeton," said Chris Miltenberg, Stanford's Director of Track and Field, who brought Eisenreich to The Farm when he arrived in 2012. "I have no doubt she will do a phenomenal job."

Eisenreich coached six Cardinal athletes to All-America honors, spanning all the throws – discus, hammer, javelin and shot put. Stanford throwers won six Pac-12 titles under Eisenreich, including two this year – Valarie Allman in the women's discus and Mackenzie Little in the women's javelin. Each reached the NCAA podium.

Allman won her second consecutive Pac-12 discus title and captured second in the hammer, and went on to place third in the discus and 11th in the hammer at the NCAA Championships, setting personal records in both, of 201-6 and 200-11, respectively. At the U.S. Olympic Trials this week, Allman placed sixth in the discus.

Little, a freshman, extended a Stanford conference winning streak in the women's javelin to five years. Brianna Bain won the previous four, including three under Eisenreich, and established the school record of 183-10 in 2014. Little placed seventh at the NCAA Championships and advanced to the Olympic Trials, where she will throw Thursday.

Six Stanford throwers -- three men and three women – advanced to the NCAA West Prelims this year, and four were named to the Pac-12 All-Academic team. In all, 12 of her throwers occupy spots on Stanford's all-time top 10 lists.

"Hands down, the best thing about Stanford are the kids we get to work with," Eisenreich said. "What they are accomplishing both on and off the track is amazing. I also appreciated the opportunity to work with and learn from great coaches throughout the department.

"At Princeton, I'm really excited about the opportunity to build a program in a very dynamic department. It will be an awesome challenge."

Eisenreich was at Brown for 12 seasons, including 2 1/2 years as the director, and coached post-collegiate athletes to the Olympic Trials and the Olympic Games.

The Brown throws program defined itself as the premier squad in the Ivy League, as her throwers earned 51 All-Ivy honors, 30 Ivy titles, and eight school records.

— Stanford Athletics

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