Spring's Crowning Achievements Western schools dominated as Division I national titles were decided in eight sports over the past month

June 20, 2004

Women's Champion UCLA
Men's Champion ARKANSAS

After finishing second eight times since 1989, the UCLA women
broke through in Austin last weekend to win their first outdoor
track and field title in 21 years. Though the Bruins won only one
event--senior Sheena Johnson took the 400-meter hurdles--UCLA
edged LSU by a point. The men's crown rests on a more familiar
head, that of defending champion Arkansas, whose dynasty rolled
along thanks to wins by junior Tyson Gay in the 100, freshman
Wallace Spearman in the 200 and senior Chris Mulvaney in the
1,500. The Razorbacks have now won 39 national championships in
outdoor and indoor track and cross-country under coach John

Women's Champion VIRGINIA
Men's Champion SYRACUSE

Many of the 43,898 fans at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore on
Memorial Day didn't get the men's champion they wanted, but they
still saw a tremendous show. With several Midshipmen expecting to
report soon for active duty, Navy--looking for its first national
title in any sport since 1964--took on Syracuse. Junior defensive
midfielder Clipper Lennon raised the faithful's hopes with a goal
that gave the Midshipmen a 12-11 lead with 5:40 remaining. But
the Orange scored the next three goals, including the
game-clincher with a minute left by tournament outstanding player
and alltime school scoring leader Mike Powell. Navy answered with
a goal by Ian Dingman 20 seconds later, but Syracuse's defense
shut the door and secured the Orange's eighth national
championship. Syracuse coach John Desko said the opponent made
this win special: "I was so proud of [Navy] being there, and the
way they've played all season. They played with a bigger cause.
It didn't have the feel of [facing] other opponents. We were
pulling for them also."

Princeton came into the women's final--played in the Tigers' own
stadium on May 23--with a 28-game winning streak, but Virginia
put a stop to that as it dominated the two-time defending
champions 10-4 to earn its third national title (and first since
1993). Senior goalkeeper and tournament MVP Andrea Pfeiffer
stifled the Princeton offense, making eight saves (of her
career-high 19 total) in the first half as the Cavaliers, who
entered the final on a nine-game winning streak of their own,
raced to a 5-1 halftime lead. "We were really well prepared
coming into it," Pfeiffer said. "We knew a lot of their top
shooters, their tendencies.... It was just great momentum. It all
came together."

Champion UCLA

For four innings Cal pitcher Kelly Anderson looked as if she
might deliver the performance her team needed to keep UCLA from
repeating as national champion. In the May 31 title game in
Oklahoma City, Anderson retired the first 12 Bruins while the
Bears scored a run against UCLA ace Keira Goerl. But in the top
of the fifth Bruins senior first baseman Claire Sua belted
Anderson's first pitch over the wall in left center. "I just went
up there and said, What do I have to lose?" Sua said. "It's my
last game, and I'm going to go for it." UCLA added two more runs
on a single by freshman pinch hitter Kristen Dedmon, and Goerl,
who threw a no-hitter in the 2003 title game, shut down the Bears
to secure a 3-1 victory and the Bruins' 11th national crown in 23
years. After the game Goerl, a senior, said, "UCLA's been such a
big part of my life. To go out like this is awesome."

Women's Champion UCLA
Men's Champion CAL

Ryan Moore went into the NCAAs on a hot streak and ended blazing.
The UNLV junior, who hadn't finished worse than third since
mid-March, closed the championship in Hot Springs, Va., on June 3
and 4 with rounds of 64 and 66 to win by six strokes over Bill
Haas of Wake Forest and Chris Nallen of Arizona. Moore became the
first golfer in 21 years to win while competing as an
individual--UNLV did not qualify for team play. The team title
went to Cal, which made up an eight-stroke deficit on the final
day to overtake UCLA. On the women's side, Cal senior Sarah
Huarte took individual honors, edging Oklahoma State's Karin
Sjodin by a stroke in the final round on May 22 in Opelika, Ala.,
and UCLA beat Oklahoma State for the team title.

Women's Champion STANFORD
Men's Champion BAYLOR

Make it two for two for Amber Liu. On May 29 the Stanford
sophomore won her second individual title, defeating Jelena
Pandzic of Fresno State 6-4, 0-6, 6-3 in Athens, Ga. Her victory
capped a perfect season for the Cardinal, which had earlier won
its 13th team title to finish 29-0. The doubles crown went to
UCLA's Lauren Fisher and Daniela Bercek. The Baylor men gave
their school its first team title in any sport. Bears junior
Benjamin Becker defeated Tulane senior Michael Kogan 6-4, 7-6 in
Tulsa on May 31 to take individual honors. Stanford's KC Corkery
and Sam Warburg won the doubles title.

Women's Champion USC

Last fall the USC men's water polo team won a national title; on
May 9 the women's team got its shot. Led by three goals from
freshman Brittany Hayes, the Trojans defeated Loyola Marymount
10-8 in Stanford, Calif., to conclude a 29-0 season and take
their first NCAA crown. The USC squad featured a record eight
All-Americas, including sophomore Moriah Van Norman, the national
player of the year.

Women's Champion BROWN
Men's Champion HARVARD

A few even-money propositions: a coin landing heads, a black card
being pulled from a deck and Brown's winning a women's crew
title. In Rancho Cordova, Calif., on May 30, the Bears outpaced
Yale to earn their fourth title in the eight years of NCAA
women's competition. Even more dominant on the water are the
Harvard men, who handily outrowed Washington and Cal on June 5 in
Camden, N.J., to repeat as Intercollegiate Rowing Association
champs and give legendary Crimson coach Harry Parker his 16th
national title.

Men's Champion BYU

May 8 was comeback night in Honolulu: BYU fell behind Long Beach
State, two games to one, then trailed 10-6 in the decisive fifth
game. But the Cougars, led by senior Jonathan Alleman and
tournament outstanding player Carlos Moreno, rallied to win
19-17. "Tonight was a perfect lesson," said coach Tom Peterson.
"You just can't give up."

COLOR PHOTO: BILL FRAKES (2) RAZOR SHARP Gay ran a 10.06 in the 100 to earn one of Arkansas's three individual titles. COLOR PHOTO: BILL FRAKES (2) U-HAULER Johnson's hurdles win helped UCLA leap past LSU. COLOR PHOTO: SIMON BRUTY 5 STAR Brian Nee scored three of Syracuse's 14 goals against Navy. COLOR PHOTO: CHUCK SOLOMON CHASING AMY Princeton couldn't stop Amy Appelt (19), who had four goals for Virginia. COLOR PHOTO: DARREN CARROLL BIG WINDUP Goerl notched her second straight win in a title game. COLOR PHOTO: JIM GUND SOLO SHOT Moore, the only UNLV player at Hot Springs, crushed thefield. COLOR PHOTO: DAVID WALBERG (2) BEAR UP Cal's Huarte finished first by a stroke. COLOR PHOTO: BILL FRAKES SUPER SOPH Stanford's Liu won her second straight singles crown. COLOR PHOTO: DAVID WALBERG (2) RAISING A RACKET Baylor, with singles champ Becker, won its firstteam title in any sport. COLOR PHOTO: JAMIE SCHWABEROW/WIREIMAGES.COM WATERMARK Hayes's three scores paced USC in the final. COLOR PHOTO: GONZALESPHOTO.COM REGULARS Brown has won four of eight NCAA championships. COLOR PHOTO: GEORGE TIEDEMANN/GT IMAGES DOUBLE DUTY Harvard's IRA crown was its second in a row. COLOR PHOTO: JAMIE SCHWABEROW/NCAA PHOTOS FACE TIME Michael Burke and BYU rallied against Long Beach.