Women's Cross Country, Women's Tennis Selected As Top Varsity Sports
Sept. 9, 2001
New York, NY - Two of Stanford women's sports programs have been recognized as the nation's best and another tabbed as a team to watch, according to the latest issue of SPORTS ILLUSTRATED WOMEN.
This month's magazine, which includes a list of the colleges at the top of their game in 14 varsity sports, picked Stanford's cross country and tennis programs as the best in the nation. Softball fell under the 'don't count out' category, which is given to a team that could surprise as a national contender.
Stanford's women's cross country squad has finished third or better at the NCAA Cross Country Championships every year since 1996. The Cardinal has also finished first in four of the last five NCAA West Regionals, and first at the Pac-10 Championships for five consecutive years. Two of the nation's top women harriers, juniors Lauren Fleshman and Erin Sullivan, look to lead the Cardinal in 2001. A number of talented runners with championship experience also return for Stanford.
The 2001 Stanford women's tennis team won the national championship in dominating fashion, capping off a 6-0 run in the NCAA Tournament with a 4-0 win over Vanderbilt in the title match. It was the 11th NCAA team championship for the Cardinal and third in the last five years. The Cardinal, who finished the year with a 30-0 overall record, return several key performers including seniors Lauren Kalvaria (2001 NCAA singles runner-up and First Team All Pac-10 selectrion) and Gabriela Lastra, who finished with a final No. 16 ranking and a 34-6 overall record.
The softball team made its first appearance at the Women's College World Series, and went 2-2 to tie for third nationally last season. The Cardinal closed out the 2001 season with a school-best 54 wins (54-16-1) and three student-athletes were honored as First-Team All-Americans (Jessica Mendoza, Dana Sorensen and Sarah Beeson). Stanford was once again a force in Pac-10 competition, finishing 11-10 and in third place.