Palo Alto Weekly

Sports - June 24, 2011

Stanford women win Capital One Cup and $200,000 donation

by Rick Eymer

The Stanford women's athletic program won the inaugural Capital One Cup it was announced Thursday.

Stanford will be formally honored at the ESPY Awards televised by ESPN on July 13, during which the Capital One Cup trophy will be presented with a $200,000 donation to fund student-athlete graduate-level scholarships. Launched in 2010, the Capital One Cup honors NCAA Division I athletics programs for their cumulative on-field performance across multiple men's and women's sports.

"Our university is very proud of our athletics program and we are pleased that our women's sports have achieved first place in the Capital One Cup," Stanford Director of Athletics Bob Bowlsby said. "On behalf of our coaches and student-athletes we are pleased to accept this award. Thank you to Capital One and its affiliated companies for their support of collegiate athletics."

The Cardinal women accumulated 121 points, finishing ahead of Texas A&M (112 points), California (106), Florida (86) and Notre Dame (76).

Stanford earned national second-place finishes in soccer, tennis and rowing. The Aggies earned 40 points for their first-place finish at the track and field championships, the final NCAA Division I women's championship of the season, while the Cardinal finished tied for eighth and earned six points.

Stanford also earned points in volleyball, basketball, swimming and diving, lacrosse and softball The Cardinal placed in the Top 10 in nine championships, including soccer, volleyball, basketball, swimming and diving, lacrosse, tennis, softball , outdoor track & field and rowing, the most Top 10 finishes of any program.

"The Stanford women and everyone who follows the athletics program should be proud of this accomplishment," Capital One Cup Advisory Board member and former Santa Clara University soccer player Brandi Chastain said. "Winning the Capital One Cup requires commitment, dedication and hard work at all levels of a Division I college athletics program and the Cardinal rose above all other schools to claim the trophy. With nine Top 10 finishes they are extremely deserving of this award."

Track and field

Stanford-bound Aisling Cuffe has been named USA Track & Field's Athlete of the Week after her record-setting performance in the girls' two mile at last weekend's New Balance Outdoor Nationals at North Carolina A&T in Greensboro.

Cuffe's time of 9:54.22 bettered Molly Huddle's national high school two-mile record set in 2002 by nearly seven seconds. The senior from Hudson, N.Y., went out hard and grabbed an early lead, but was overtaken by Illinois native Kayla Beattie two laps in. After trailing Beattie for several laps, Cuffe made a move with 1,200m to go.

The strategy worked for Cuffe who finished more than 10 seconds ahead of Beattie and the rest of the field. The record-setting victory capped off Cuffe's impressive prep career that included first-place finishes in the 2010 Foot Locker Cross Country Championships and 2011 New Balance Indoor two mile.

"It was really nice just to know that I went out well and that I didn't have a bad race in the last race of my high school career," Cuffe said.

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