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Stanford once again leading awards race for best athletics program

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The Cardinal appear poised to win their 23rd consecutive Learfield Directors’ Cup for the nation’s best athletic program

NCAA Football: Sun Bowl-Stanford vs North Carolina Ivan Pierre Aguirre-USA TODAY Sports

After another banner year on the Farm, Stanford finds itself in prime position to take home recognition as the nation’s top athletic program.

With the spring season coming to a close, the Cardinal leads both the Learfield Directors' Cup and Capital One Cup Standings by significant margins. Accustomed to this level of success, Stanford has won the Directors’ Cup for 22 consecutive seasons—all but the first year of the award’s existence.

While still dominant, the Cardinal have not owned the Capital One Cup, which began in 2010-11, as much because it gives out separate titles for both men’s and women’s sports—Stanford took home men’s honors for the first time in 2015-16, while the women’s program has won three of the first six seasons.

This year, the Cardinal’s late advantage has been fueled by a national championship in women’s swimming and diving. With 13 All-Americans on its roster, Stanford took home its first title since 1998 but No. 10 in program history—more than any other school.

In a season in which head coach Tara VanDerveer picked up career win No. 1,000, women’s basketball also made its way back into the ranks of the elite, earning its first Final Four appearance since 2013-14.

Another traditionally strong program on the farm, No. 2 men’s gymnastics made waves this season, finishing fourth in at the NCAA Championships April 22, while Akash Modi and Robert Neff picked up individual NCAA titles.

With 112 NCAA titles, Stanford needs just one more championship to tie UCLA for most in history.

The Cardinal look to add on to that goal with strong showings in men’s and women’s golf. On the back of individual winner Albane Valenzuela, the No. 3 Cardinal women won their regional and advanced to the NCAA Championship, which will take place at Northern Illinois University May 22-24.

Buoyed by the world’s top amateur Maverick McNealy, the No. 8 Cardinal men will enter their NCAA regional May 15-17 as the top seed after finishing second at the Pac-12 Championship.

If Stanford captures the Capital One Cup, it will garner $400,000 in scholarships and be honored at the ESPY Awards.

Detailed standings below:

Learfield Directors’ Cup

1. Stanford (1094.25 points)

2. Ohio State (825.5 points)

3. Penn State (791.75 points)

Capital One Cup (Men’s)

1. Stanford (92 points)

2. North Carolina (84 points)

3. Clemson (78 points)

Capital One Cup (Women’s)

1.Stanford (128.5 points)

2. South Carolina (78 points)

3. USC (70 points)