Palo Alto Weekly

Sports - June 21, 2013

Qualifying for Junior Olympics kicks off summer season

Stanford Water Polo Club will be busy this weekend with its boys and girls competing in Pacific Zone tournaments

by Keith Peters

A busy summer of age-group water polo is officially under way with the Pacific Zone qualifying tournaments for the 2013 National Junior Olympics. One local team already is in, and many others should join it this weekend.

The Stanford Water Polo Club has one of its 16-under boys' teams qualified for the Junior Olympics this summer in Orange County. Two others, meanwhile, will have another opportunity following the first weekend of action.

The Stanford 16&U Red team won its qualifying tournament in the East Bay last weekend, topped by a 7-6 victory over Lamorinda in the championship match. Stanford earned the No. 6 seed for the Junior Olympics that will be held July 27-30 in Orange County for the boys.

The Stanford 16&U White squad finished fifth, losing only to Lamorinda in the quarterfinals, 7-5. The 16&U Black team finished 11th out of 26 teams.

Both the White and Black squads will return to qualifying in two weeks while trying to earn one of the 12 remaining Pacific Zone berths for JOs.

The Stanford 16&U Red team is coached by Sacred Heart Prep's Brian Kreutzkamp and includes Nick Bisconti, Will Conner, Sean Elmurib, Grant Harvey, Patrick Kirk, John Knox, Nelson Perla-Ward, Jack Pickard, Trevor Raisch, Max Somple, Michael Swart, Benoit Viollier, Spencer Witte and Christopher Xi.

The 16&U White squad, coached by Tim Norton, features Wes Avery, Finn Banks, Will Crouch, Cade Curry, Patrick Duffy, Andrew Goodenough, Kevin Hansen, Andreas Katsis, Eric Lee, Thomas Reed, Winston Rosati, Gabriel Sleeper, Alex Stratton, Ari Wayne and Christian Znidarsic.

Matt Sorgenfrei coaches the 16&U Black team that includes Nikhil Bhatia, Justin Cooper, Max Elfrink, Leonardo Franco-Munoz, Jared Gencarella, Nikola Kapamadzin, Samuel Lichy, Will Lowdon, Eric Luxenberg, Miles Mackenzie, Mitchell Martin, Teagan Nibbi, Nicholas Russell, Anup Sankarraman and Quinn Vitakis.

The 18&U Pacific Zone qualifying tournament for JOs will be held this Friday through Sunday at Acalanes High in the East Bay. A total of 15 teams will be competing for 11 berths in the Junior Olympics. The top four squads automatically qualify while the remaining teams will compete June 28-30 for the final spots.

The 18&U Red team is coached by Colin Mello and includes Eric Bakar, Michael Blach, Stephen Cho, Zach Churukian, Brayden Curry, Brendan Duffy, Harrison Enright, Harrison Holland-McCowan, Zoltan Lazar, Reid Lazzarini, Cory McGee, John Raineiri, Will Runkel, Jack Turner and Shawn Welch.

The 18&U White squad is coached by Terry O'Donnell and has Nick Bisconti, Will Conner, Jose Gonzalez, John Halet, Rishabh Hegde, Chris Hinrichs, Scott Jollymour, Evan McClelland, Nelson Perla-Ward, Brandon Plihal, Riley Preston, Alex Swart, Benoit Viollier, Coby Wayne and John Wilson.

Also qualifying this weekend will be the 14&U Red and White teams. A total of 24 squads will compete for 16 berths at Campolindo High in Moraga.

The 14&U Red team, coached by Clarke Weatherspoon, features Niko Bhati, Nikolas Caryotakis, Andrew Churukian, Jackson Enright, Miller Geschke, Quinn Hamilton, Andrew Jozefov, Kyle Leung, Nathan Puentes, Chris Rowland, Kyle Rumptz, Gabriel Sleeper, Maximilian Untrecht, Alan Viollier and Ben Wagner.

Aaron Johnson and Matt Heagy are coaching the Stanford 14&U White team that includes Jackson Clevenger, Giorgio Fatica, Sean Ferrari, Frank Lozinski, Gary Marston, Andy Maxwell, Andrew Penner, Thomas Phillips, Luke Rohlen, Nicholas Russell, Michael Sonsini, William Steinback, Ryan Toulouse, Alec Vort and Diedrich Welling.

The Stanford girls, meanwhile, also will be busy this weekend. The 18&U Red team, coached by Kyle Utsumi, will begin its JO qualifying at Miramonte High in Orinda on Friday at 1:35 p.m. The team will be back in the same pool Saturday for matches at 8:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m.

"We have an experienced 18A group," Utsumi said. (We're) expecting to compete well against everyone this summer. This weekend at qualifying and July 5-7 at Club Championships will be key to setting ourselves up for JO's."

The Stanford 18&U Red squad includes Katherine Moore, Allison Larko, Caroline Anderson, Emily Fong, Courtney Bacheller, Bridgette Harper, Keri Clifford, Cathy Cantoni, Jessica Heilman, Caitling Stuewe, Carla Tocchini, Sami Strutner, Kristen Denney and Morgan McCracken.

The Stanford 18&U White team, coached by Mark Hernandez, will open Friday at Miramonte High at 4:45 p.m. The roster features Tayler Peters, Amanda Chinn, Sela Obot, Rachel Vaughn-Hulbert, Rebecca Koshy, Claudia Macedo, Stephanie Flamen, Lauren Lesyna, Kathleen Keifer, Elizabeth Wall, Megan Bordy, Nicole Reynolds, Rea Brakaj, Natasha Batista and Shelbie Higginson.

The Stanford 14&U teams, coached by former Stanford standout Kelsey Holshouser, will be playing this weekend at Las Lomas High in Walnut Creek.

The Red team, which plays Friday at 3:55 and 6:40 p.m., features Zoe Banks, Sephanie Chiang, Lauren Dillon, Sara Donato, Izzy Mandema, Nadia Paquin, Anna Rajaratnam, Camille Russell, Allison Sullivan-Wu, Olivia Tobin and Layla Waters.

The White Team, which will play Friday at 12:15 and 5:45 p.m., includes Clair Billman, Simcha Bradski, Sabrine Hall, Savannah, Kazemipour, Issy Kelley, Jenna Kotcher, Madison Lewis, Maddie Maxwell, Kayleigh Peterson, Ria Sonecha and Alex Stout.

The Stanford boy and girls will have more teams competing the following weekend.

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