I have grown tremendously over the last few years as a student athlete. I've been competing and practicing with top athletes not only in water polo but in swimming. I've become a more influential athlete on both water polo and swim teams, taken multiple advanced courses, and have had to manage my time between school, 2 full-time sports, and a 'normal' high school life. There hasn't always been success, though. As a water polo player who has had the opportunity to swim for one of the top high school swim teams in the country, I have been blessed with an opportunity beyond my dreams. But with all the focus on a swim team that has won 8 consecutive state titles, nobody really cares about the water polo team. As a club player I have had to be a leader on my high school team since freshman year. I knew more about the game than the seniors who would just play for fun after swimming was over. This year, specifically, was a big year for me. After 4 starters graduated (one of which was the state MVP 2 years in a row), and having only 4 people on the team who play club, my team struggled this year. With work we exceeded everyone's expectations, made it to the state tournament, and placed 6th overall. As a junior who was elected captain and who everyone looked to for advice, I feel like I have grown both tremendously as an athlete and a leader, and I feel I can carry these skills to any team.