The 805 Santa Barbara Water Polo Club seniors playing in their final Junior Olympics include, from left: Kailie McGeoy, Brittany Prentice, Toni Shackelford, Britni Tisdale, Rylen Scott, Amelia Meckelborg, Maddie Owens and Amelia Ayala. (Peter Neushul photo)
The 805 Santa Barbara Water Polo Club is sending 12 teams and 148 athletes to the USA Water National Junior Olympics in Orange County this week.
The first sessison of the world's largest water polo tournament includes the club's 16-under and 14U boys teams and a 10U girls team. Both boys teams qualified for the elite Championship Division which is comprised of the top 48 teams in the nation. The competition started Saturday.
In session two, which begins Wednesday, 805 will be fielding nine teams: 12U Girls A, 12U Girls B, 14U Girls, 16U Girls A, B, C and D squads and 18U Girls A and B teams. The 16 C and D teams are competing in the Classic Division while all the other teams are in the Championship Division.
The club's 16s A team recently won the National Club Championship.
This is the final Junior Olympics for a generation of veteran 805 Santa Barbara girls, many of whom are going on to compete at elite universities. The senior group includes Amelia Ayala (Ventura HS/Claremont College), Kailie McGeoy (SBHS/Princeton), Amelia Meckelborg (Dos Pueblos/UC Santa Barbara), Maddie Owens (San Marcos/SBCC), Brittany Prentice (San Marcos/Michigan), Toni Shackelford (Dos Pueblos/UC Irvine), Rylen Scott (Cabrillo/Texas A&M), and Britni Tisdale (Dos Pueblos/Azuza Pacific).
Senior team member Paige Hauschild (San Marcos/USC) is missing the Junior Olympics because she is playing with the USA Women's Senior National Team at the FINA World Championships in Budapest, Hungary.