Water polo guys head to California
A total of seven members of The Bahamas’ junior national water polo team are traveling to San Jose, California, USA, to compete in the USA Water Polo Junior Olympics. This is the largest water polo tournament in the U.S. with over 400 teams competing in a four-day event.
The athletes were selected earlier this spring to join with the North Houston Storm Water Polo Team in the Southwest Zone Junior Olympics Qualifier Tournament. Saequan Miller, Gabriel Sastre, Alexander Turnquest and Nicholas Wallace-Whitfield competed with the under-18 (U18) Storm team. The U18 boys won the silver medal in the qualifier which seeded them in the U18 championship bracket at the Junior Olympics. The tournament starts Saturday July 21 and the U18 Storm team takes on the eighth-ranked LA Premier team in its opening game.
The U16 boys also placed in the Southwest Zone Qualifier which qualified them for the U16 Classic bracket of the Junior Olympics. The Bahamas team members joining up with the Houston Storm are Gabriel Encinar, Damian Gomez, Thor Sasso, Gabriel Sastre, Alexander Turnquest and Nicholas Wallace-Whitfield. Thomas Illing also competed in the Houston tournament however was unable to attend the Junior Olympics this year. The U16 Storm will take on the fifth-seeded North San Diego Stars in their first game on Saturday.
While in California, the boys will attend an expo being staged by USA Water Polo. This expo will feature presentations on the path to collegiate water polo, being a triple impact competitor, elevating your game and a mental skills clinic. Additionally, there will be a college coach meet and greet session for rising grade 12 players. Bahamas Water Polo senior captain Saequan Miller was recently awarded a college scholarship to play water polo for Salem University in Salem, West Virginia.
The Bahamas team members are accompanied by Team Bahamas Head Water Polo Coach Laszlo Borbely. The Houston Storm is under the direction of Head Coach Edwin Barrera. The athletes wish to thank their family and friends who supported their fundraising efforts to attend this prestigious tournament.