The Stanford Water Polo Club 14U boys made their trip to Texas over the weekend worthwhile by winning their division title at the USA Water Polo's TYR Champions Cup in Lewisville.
"Champions Cup is USA Water Polo's Fall National Championship and it is the first time in our club's history that we have won this tournament," said Jon Barnea, director of the Stanford Water Polo Club.
The tournament featured 12 teams from around the nation, all which needed to advance through their zone qualification tournaments earlier this fall in order to earn a spot in the championship.
"The victory also marked the second consecutive national championship that our 14U boys have earned a medal," said Barnea, noting the bronze at 2014 Junior Olympics. "Coach (Clarke) Weatherspoon has done an amazing job this fall getting this team to play championship-caliber water polo after graduating a number of very talented players to local high schools. The win is a credit to all the hard work and dedication that our athletes put in throughout the season."
Stanford opened the tourney on Friday with a 20-2 win over YCF (Florida) and an 11-5 win over Greenwich (Conn.). On Saturday, Stanford posted a 9-5 win over Orange County Water Polo Club, followed by an 11-7 victory over San Diego Shores.
In the semifinals on Sunday, Stanford took an 11-10 shootout win over 680 (East Bay) after the game was tied at the end of regulation, 6-6. In the title match, Stanford defeated Newport (Orange County), 12-8.
Stanford team members included: Kyle Ballack, Andrew Churukian, Gabe Discipulo, Jake Graessle, Dominick Kirk, James Kujawa, Frank Lozinski, Maxwell Patterson, James Plaschke, Benjamin Rapperport, Will Riley, Walker Seymour, Sam Untrecht, Alec Vort and Larsen Weigle.
Prior to the first- and third-place games, the Jody Campbell and Maureen O'Toole Sportsmanship Awards were presented to athletes from each team competing at the TYR Champions Cup. Campbell and O'Toole have a storied history within USA Water Polo as Campbell (a Stanford graduate) helped the USA Men's Olympic Water Polo Team to consecutive silver medals at the 1984 and 1988 Olympic Games while O'Toole was a key member of the USA Women's Olympic Water Polo Team that won silver at the 2000 Olympic Games, the first to ever offer women's water polo.
Receiving the sportsmanship award for the Stanford boys was Sam Untrecht.