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The Stanford Daily 2020-21 Athlete of the Year voting guide: Nos. 1 and 2

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The Stanford Daily’s Sports Twitter published a bracket and corresponding polls to determine the top Stanford athlete of the 2020-21 season.

The interactive voting system features 64 Cardinal athletes, half from women’s teams and half from men’s teams. The finalists were selected by writers and editors from The Daily’s sports section.

Each poll is open for 24 hours, and the athlete receiving the most votes will move on to the next round until only one athlete remains. 

Listed below is a voting guide for the top seeds, noting the methodology behind why each athlete was selected.

No. 1 Haley Jones (women’s basketball)

Jones was an AP All-America Honorable Mention and named to the All-Pac-12 team. The sophomore led the Cardinal to the Pac-12 title, No. 1 overall seed and the program’s first national championship since 1992. Jones scored the winning bucket in both of the Cardinal’s one-point victories in the Final Four and National Championship.

No. 1 Shane Griffith (wrestling) 

The redshirt sophomore became the second Stanford wrestler in program history to win a national title when he won the 165-pound division. His triumph came as the wrestling program was set to be cut after this season.

No. 1 Rachel Heck (women’s golf)

The freshman out of Memphis became the first NCAA individual champion in school history. Heck won the conference, regionals and nationals, making her the third woman to sweep the postseason in NCAA history.

No. 1 Brody Malone (men’s gymnastics)

Malone led the Cardinal men’s gymnastics team to their second-straight and seventh overall national championship. He recently won the Senior All-Around title at the U.S. Gymnastics Championships.

No. 2 Jacklyn Luu (synchronized swimming)

The senior from Milpitas, Calif. helped lead synchronized swimming to a national title by winning the solo and duet competitions in what was thought to be the program’s final varsity season. A year prior, Luu won every solo competition during the team’s 2020 season.

No. 2 Oscar da Silva (men’s basketball)

The senior forward was named to the All-Pac-12 first team and All-Defensive team. In 24 appearances (all of which were starts), he averaged 18.5 points, 6.7 rebounds and 2.4 assists per game. Following the season, an associate head coach position was endowed in his name.

No. 2 Kiana Williams (women’s basketball)

Williams started all 33 games, averaging 14.0 points, 2.0 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 1.3 steals. The senior from San Antonio was named to the All-Pac-12 team, won the national title in her hometown and was selected by the Seattle Storm with the 18th overall pick in the WNBA Draft. 

No. 2 Brock Jones (baseball)

The sophomore from Fresno, Calif. helped lead the Cardinal to their first College World Series (CWS) appearance since 2008. The outfielder was named the Collegiate Baseball National Player of the Week on March 8 and heading into the CWS, leads the team in OPS (1.072) and home runs (16).

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Jibriel Taha is a staff writer for the sports section. He is from Malibu, California and studies economics and political science. He also co-hosts The Stanford Daily's men's basketball podcast series. Contact him at jtaha ‘at’ stanforddaily.com.