Palo Alto Weekly

Sports - July 15, 2011

Stanford grad earns national honor after tying U.S. record in women's shot put

Stanford graduate Jillian Camarena-Williams of the New York Athletic Club has been named USA Track & Field's Athlete of the week after tying the American Record at the Paris Diamond League meet on July 8. This is the second athlete of the week honor for Camarena-Williams in 2011.

Camarena-Williams finished third with her mark of 66 feet, 2 1/2 inches, which tied Ramona Pagel's U.S. outdoor record that she set in 1988. This latest mark for Camarena-Williams comes on the heels of an indoor season where she also established the American indoor record of 65-2 1/4 which was also previously owned by Pagel who set the mark in 1987.

Camarena-Williams will represent the United States at the 2011 IAAF World Outdoor Track and Field Championships August 27-September 4 in Daegu, South Korea.

Now in its 10th year, USATF's Athlete of the Week program is designed to recognize outstanding performers at all levels of the sport. USATF names a new honoree each week and features the athlete on the USATF website. Selections are based on top performances and results from the previous week.

Previous winners included incoming Stanford freshman Aisling Cuffe on June 22.

Awards

Owen Marecic (football) and Sarah Flynn (lacrosse) were announced as Stanford's 2010-11 Pac-10 Tom Hansen Conference Medal winners on Monday afternoon.

A Conference Medal is awarded annually to each member institution's outstanding senior male and female student-athlete based on the exhibition of the greatest combination of performance and achievement in scholarship, athletics and leadership.

Also earning a medal was Menlo School grad Ben Hohl (water polo) of UCLA.

The Tom Hansen Conference Medal winners will be honored at the State Farm Pride of the Pac-12 Breakfast held in Los Angeles in conjunction with the Pacific Life Pac-12 Men's and Women's Basketball Tournaments next March.

The Tom Hansen Conference Medal was named in honor of Hansen, who served 26 years as commissioner of the Pac-10 Conference, retiring in June of 2009. The award was first named in his honor in 2008-09.

Football

Stanford football certainly will be a team to watch this season. Heading into this week, five players have been named to preseason "watch" lists that feature the nation's top players for individual postseason honors.

The latest Stanford players to be honored are juniors David DeCastro and Jonathan Martin, anchors of the offensive line that has been considered among the best units in the nation for the past two seasons. Both were named to the preseason watch list for the prestigious Outland Trophy, which is awarded to the best interior lineman in college football.

DeCastro and Martin, both of whom earned first team all-conference honors last season as sophomores, have combined to make 50 starts over the past two seasons in which Stanford has posted a combined record of 20-6. Their play has enabled the Cardinal to post two of the top three rushing marks in school history while allowing quarterback Andrew Luck complete 64.4 percent of his passes and compile a 170.2 passing efficiency rating. Stanford's offensive line has allowed just 13 sacks over the last two seasons.

Earlier last week, Stanford's Shayne Skov and Delano Howell were included on the preseason watch list for the Bednarik Award, which is presented annually to the top defensive player in college football.

The incumbent starter at one of the inside linebacker positions, Skov has made 18 career starts over the past two seasons. He ranks as Stanford's leading tackler among active players with 146 stops.

An honorable mention all-conference selection last season, Skov led Stanford in tackles (84) as a sophomore, despite missing the first two games of the season with injury. He also had 7.5 sacks among his 10.5 tackles-for-loss and ranked eighth in the Pac-10 Conference in tackles per game at 7.64.

Howell, Stanford's returning starter at strong safety, has made 23 starts in the secondary over the past two seasons after transitioning from running back in spring of 2008. He has recorded 138 career total tackles to rank second behind Skov among the team's active leaders (146) heading into the 2011 season, A two-time all-conference selection, Howell leads all returning players with six career interceptions.

He earned second team All-Pac-10 honors last season after finishing the year with 60 total tackles, including 46 solo efforts. He ranked as the team's fourth-leading tackler. He also had a team-high five interceptions.

Previously announced, Stanford's Coby Fleener was named to the Mackey Award watch list for the nation's top tight ends.

Rowing

U.S. rower and recent Stanford graduate Elle Logan added more gold to her personal stash over the past two weekends, capturing gold medals with the U.S. Quad Sculls at the Henley Royal Regatta two weeks ago then again with the U.S. Eight at the 2011 Samsung World Cup on Sunday.

At Henley, Logan and the U.S. Quad Sculls boat advanced through the bracket and defeated the 'B' entry from the Australian Institute of Sport in the final to capture the Princess Grace Challenge Cup.

Logan and the U.S. team will now go into a final selection for the 2011 World Championships, set to be held in Bled, Slovenia in August.

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