Hi Emma! Of course I remember you 🙂 So happy to hear from you and very excited about the reunion — I will definitely be there and remember doing my own alumni report back in the day too.
1. Which high school did you attend?
Menlo High School!
2. When did you graduate from Stanford?
3. Do you still keep in touch with your high school, club, or college teammates?
Yes — all three and some categories overlap 🙂 I still see Kandis, who was my first friend at Stanford club after I moved from Hawaii on a weekly basis because we play together at the Olympic Club in San Francisco. I see Pallavi Menon every once in a while who I went to 8th grade with and then were rivals in high school and then reunited with in college because we work in the same industry and get to hang out at conferences.
4. Most water polo players do not necessarily enjoy swim season. Would you agree with this?
Yes I would agree, swimming can get boring, but you gotta do it. And the bonus is that I went into swim season with a lot of water polo teammates, which always made it more fun.
5. What was the highlight of your career with the Stanford club?
This is a hard one. I’m not sure, but I think we got third place at JOs in my last summer as an 18 and under, which was a big deal because we had never medaled before and that was always the goal…had a lot of success at 20s and nationals though with a lot of teammates I’d been playing with for years, which was fun. I also then got to turn the tables (as you know) and coach and I cannot explain how the small victories make you feel when you’re on the other side — watching a 12 year old do a swimming pick up in a game situation or seeing your 16s perfectly execute the game plan…the whole thing was fun!
6. What was the highlight of your entire water polo career?
This one’s easy – national championship with Stanford my senior year, and then feeling like my career is still going as the girls keep winning 🙂
7. Do you still play water polo?
Yes every Tuesday and sometimes as weekend warrior with the Olympic Club in San Francisco
8. What is your favorite memory of the club?
Funnily enough, I have a lot of warm memories from 6AM practices over the summer. I always dreaded them, but I knew all my friends would be there and some not-quite awake players and coaches made for some funny moments. Like the time Kandis Canonica was vertical flutter kicking at 6 during a 6 on 5 drill that had already started…someone passed her the ball and it flew out of bounds over her head and landed in front of Kyle Utsumi who promptly scolded, “KANDIS…Could you BE any less prepared?”
9. Does your old club coach still work for the club? Did they offer you any advice that you still think of today?
I was coached by Kyle, Susan, JT, and so many others at the club and as much as I didn’t think it was possible when I was younger, I still hear their advice almost everyday. A lot of it has to do with the way they taught us to act as players — always being on time out of respect to coaches and teammates, helping set up and clean up together, presenting a good image when traveling…all seemingly small things that shockingly not everyone is raised to do. Another water polo piece of advice I carry with me in real life is I think something [JT] originally told me — he occasionally mentioned being “net positive” in the pool. Doing more good than bad. I remember that one on tough days — just try to be net positive or at the least net neutral. AKA, minimize the screw ups!
10. What is your current job?
I work as a “Research Analyst” at a health tech startup called Health 2.0. I used quotation marks because the title doesn’t mean much, but I primarily do research and consulting around all the new digital health technologies that are emerging for both the general public (think fitness trackers and calorie counters) and doctors and health systems as a whole (think the software your doctors use during appointments and all the “big data” buzz).
11. What did you major in at college?
Human Biology with a concentration in American Health Policy and Inequality
12. Who was your biggest high school, club, and college rival team?
High school would have to be Sacred Heart Prep, Club would probably be Commerce or SoCal and college would have to be USC…my Mom was a Trojan, but I just hated them.
13. Will you be attending the reunion on June 26-27?
Also, if you have any fun bits of information, feel free to include fun facts about yourself too. I look forward to hearing from you!
Well, I’m left handed. Grew up in Hawaii before moving to CA and joining Stanford Water Polo in the 8th grade. Played with the national team through most of high school and some of college too, including Junior World Championships in Porto, Portugal in 2007 (with Kyle as my coach of course) and then played professionally in Spain for a year after Stanford! 🙂