Final Notebook from 2004 USA Water Polo National Junior Olympics; Medal Round Zapped by Lightning

Fort Lauderdale, Fla. August 20. INCLEMENT weather left teams unable to play out the medal round of the 2004 USA Water Polo Junior Olympics in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., at the first of the month, leaving several teams sharing trophies and awards, as reported by USA Water Polo.

A few teams were able to complete their medal games before the downpour began at the International Swimming Hall of Fame, with Diablo Water Polo (Calif.) 12-under girls hoisting the big trophy in a 6-4 win over Santa Barbara, Los Angeles’ 12-unders topping SoCal 9-2 for bronze and Stanford’s 14-unders posting a 7-4 win over Los Angeles for bronze.

In the middle of the 14-under gold medal game, the rain became heavy and the lightning became frequent, leaving tournament officials with no choice but to pull the players out of the pool. The delay lasted nearly three hours before the event committee met with the coaches and decided to share medals in the remaining unplayed games. SoCal coach Ed Reynolds, whose squad was trailing 8-4 to Commerce late in the final quarter of the 14-under gold medal game, conceded the top spot via handshake to Commerce coach Gabriel Martinez.

The rain, which came down in two separate unrelenting waves between 3:00 and 6:00 p.m., took a backseat to the electrical storm that gave up 15-20 visible occurrences of lightning in the area each minute. The coaches and events committee, concerned for the athletes safety and well-being, were able to reach a decision after only a couple of minutes.

“We didn’t want athletes taking breaks to get in and out of the pool, risking injury,” said USA Water Polo Director of Event Production and Promotion Adam Millar. “This was the best thing that we could do to ensure the athletes’ safety.”

So here are the 2004 Girls Junior Olympic medal winners:

12-under
GOLD – Diablo
SILVER – Santa Barbara
BRONZE – Los Angeles14-under

GOLD – Commerce
SILVER – SoCal
BRONZE – Stanford

16-under
GOLD – SoCal
GOLD – Commerce
BRONZE – San Diego Shores
BRONZE – TRAP

18-under
GOLD – Golden West
GOLD – San Diego Shores
BRONZE – Corona del Mar
BRONZE – CHAWP

Clock Bitten
SoCal 14-under player Karoline Krumpholz had a nearly 3-inch gash torn into the outside of her left ankle when a shot clock near the bench tipped over and clipped her during her team’s gold medal game against Commerce. The clock was fixed on a wooden bench at the corner of the pool before taking the plunge and cutting Krumpholz open. The coaches worked to stop the bleeding before both paramedics and lifeguards got to the scene. Gauze was applied and the ankle was wrapped, but Krumpholz did not leave with the medics. Instead, she elected to stay on the bench until her team finished the game. After the game was called, she was taken to a nearby hospital for medical attention.

Shot of the Day
The shot of the day was a no-brainer. With the quarter clock ticking down in the first between SoCal and Commerce in the 14-under final, SoCal’s Nicoline McCall launched a shot from mid-tank. Her shot, which was more of a lob from nine meters out, caught Commerce goalkeeper Brittany Connell off guard and found its way into the back of the cage with five seconds left in the quarter.

Family Ties
Before Diablo Water Polo’s Sarah Clakley got in the water to work on a gold in the 12-under division, it was her dad making waves on the pooldeck. Nathan Clakley, a pilot, started the day’s medal games off right by singing the National Anthem. His rendition was applauded by the nearly 200 fans that had already filed in and was followed by Diablo’s 6-4 gold medal win over Santa Barbara.

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Author: Archive Team

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