by LINDA FRABL
photos by Zeena Gregg Photography

Water Polo Dynamo

This 17-year-old Park Village resident may have only been playing water polo for the past four years, but Savannah Benedict, a senior at Westview High School, has already amassed major accolades for her aquatic skills. For four years in a row now she has achieved junior Olympian status in water polo competitions. This year, Savannah has helped guide her team to the Division 2 CIF Championship game for the first time in school history. With her current 3.67 GPA, Savannah has twice earned the “USA Water Polo Academic All American” title, and has been on the Union-Tribune San Diego All-Academic Team for the past two years. She is the co-captain for her varsity water polo team, and Savannah also plays for the San Diego Shores Water Polo Club. This fall she will attend California Lutheran University (CLU), where she will play on the Women’s Water Polo team.

What is most impressive about all of this is that Savannah originally began playing water polo as a freshman because of a lack of faith in her abilities in another popular sport. She explained, “I had played PQ recreational softball for three years, and I wasn’t sure if I could compete for the high school team with so many good athletes and all-stars that PQ Girls Softball creates, so I decided to try out for water polo instead. I instantly loved the sport, and it didn’t hurt that I had a pretty good shooting arm already developed from playing softball.” That freshman year, Savannah was voted most valuable player for her high school water polo team.

Now that she is pondering her upcoming graduation and the reality of leaving her teammates, Savannah admitted, “I am sad to be departing from such a tight-knit group of girls, but I am excited to start a new adventure with my college team.” Thinking back on her high school memories, Savannah stated that her favorite class has been Civics and Economics, because she “learned valuable information that I will be able to use when I step into the real world.”

When she attends CLU, Savannah will be pursuing a degree in international business as she feels it would “combine my love for travel and people with business.” Already a well-traveled individual, Savannah even attended the 2012 Olympics in London and witnessed the US Women’s Water Polo team win the gold medal. Savannah has also visited Washington, D.C., New York, Georgia, Arizona, Nevada, Hawaii, and even Paris. Suffice it to say, this water polo dynamo is going places!

At-A-Glance

Name: Savannah Benedict (17)
School: Westview High School
Grade: 12
Parents: Matt and Joyce Benedict
Sibling: Sierra (14)