Palo Alto Weekly

Sports - June 29, 2012

Stanford club teams qualify for the JOs

by Keith Peters

The boys and girls of the the Stanford Water Polo Club have been busy the past two weeks attempting to qualify for the upcoming National Junior Olympics, which the club will host starting in late July.

While the 12&U boys and girls still have to qualify this weekend, much of the hard work has been completed, quite successfully.

The Stanford boys have qualified seven of eight teams thus far while the girls qualified five teams in just the 18&U and 16&U divisions.

"Should both 12&U teams qualify (this weekend), which I believe they will, we will equal the largest number of teams we have qualified in one summer for the National Junior Olympics," said Jon Barnea, who oversees the boys' half of the Stanford Water Polo Club.

The best finish of any team was by the Stanford boys' 16&U Red squad, which took first out of 24 teams in the Pacific Zone qualifying in the East Bay. That earned Stanford the No. 1 seed for the Junior Olympics, which will run July 28-31 at various local pools.

Under the guidance of head coach Clarke Weatherspoon, the 16&U Red team finished third at the California Cup Championship in Davis on June 3 prior to qualifying for JOs. Team members include Michael Blach, Stephen Cho, Harrison Enright, Rishabh Hegde, John Knox, Evan McClelland, Morgan Olson-Fabbro, Nelson Perla-Ward, Jack Pickard, Trevor Raich, Michael Swart, Coby Wayne, Shawn Welch, John Wilson and Spencer Witte.

The boys' 18&U Red team finished second at qualifying and earned the No. 6 seed for the Junior Olympics. The squad recently finished third at the California Cup Championships, June 8-10 in Santa Barbara.

Team members are Zach Churukian, Brayden Curry, David Freudenstein, Matt Godar, Patrick Goodenough, Alex Gow, Mitchell Hamilton, Bret Hinrichs, Harrison Holland-McCowan, MichaelHolloway, Reid Lazzarini, Cory McGee, Ben Pickard, Will Runkel and Adam Warmoth.

The Stanford 18&U White team finished seventh at JO qualifying while the 14&U Red was third and the 14&U White fourth. The 16&U White squad was eighth while the 16&U Black team did not qualify after taking 15th.The boys' 12&U Red has the No. 2 seed for qualifying this weekend, where nine of 11 teams will advance. The 12&U White is seeded No. 6 and the 10&U Red is No. 2, but has already pre-qualified.

For the Stanford girls, The 18&U Red finished second in qualifying following a 5-4 loss to 680 A in the finals. Also qualifying was the 18&U White team.

Stanford qualified three teams in the 16s for the first time ever in the "qualification era." The Red team was second, losing to 680 A in the finals, 8-6, while the White squad was 10th and the Black team 11th.

The girls' Junior Olympics will run Aug. 2-5.

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