Huntington Beach, Calif. – October 22, 2007 – Olympians Brenda Villa, Heather Petri, and Natalie Golda are just three of the athletes that will headline the 2007 Speedo Top 40 set for November 2-4 at the Joint Forces Training Base in Los Alamitos, California.
This festival type event brings together 40 of the best women’s water polo players in the United States, including every member of the United States Gold Medal squad from the 2007 Pan American Games.
The top 40 athletes, as the event’s name suggests, have been brought together via special invitation, open tryout, or prior inclusion on the women’s national team. Once named, the athletes have been divided into four equal teams that will battle it out for the honor of Top 40 Champion. Coaches selected from the Olympic Development Program have been tapped to lead the four squads.
Vicki Barker will lead Team Tornado, which boasts a line-up featuring Villa, Jamie Hipp, Jessica Steffens, and Moriah van Norman from the senior national team, while Chris Borasi directs Team Solar along, which includes Alison Gregorka, Erika Figge, and MVP of the 2007 World Championships Lauren Wenger. Carroll Vaughn pilots Team Camo, with national team members Kami Craig, Elsie Windes, Patty Cardenas, and Petri. Finally, Gabriel Martinez will coach Team Tribal, which includes Golda, Brittany Hayes, and Most Valuable Goaltender at the 2007 World Championships, Betsey Armstrong.
In addition to the top 40 competition the festival also includes an open tournament for women’s club water polo squads. The 16 teams taking part in the open tourney represent a wide array of talent. The top four teams return from 2006 including NYAC (New York, NY), SET (El Toro, CA), Commerce (Commerce, CA), and SOCAL (Tustin, CA). The final twelve are those that filled up the open registration with the speed usually reserved for U-2 concert tickets: CBAD (Oceanside, CA), Northshore (Solana Beach, CA), CBU Lancers (Monrovia, CA), HBWPC (Huntington Beach, CA), NSD Stars (Vista, CA), Golden West Club (Huntington Beach, CA), Los Alamitos (Los Alamitos, CA), South Irvine (Irvine, CA), Irvine WPC (Irvine), CHAWP (Chino Hills, CA), SBWPC (Santa Barbara, CA), and Florida Coast (Miami, FL).
“The 2007 Top 40 will be our sixth year of the event,” noted Women’s Senior National Team Head Coach Guy Baker. “Preceding the Olympic Games as it does, the Top 40 offers a great opportunity for fans of water polo to come and watch the current Olympians compete with and against future Olympians.”
The action begins in Los Alamitos at 9 AM on Friday, November 2 and runs through the evening of Sunday, November 4. For more information or to purchase tickets, please visit www.usawaterpolo.org
Top 40 Rosters
Coach: Vicki Barker
Moriah Van Norman*
Coach: Chris Borasi
Coach: Carroll Vaughan
Mary Ann Campos
Coach: Gabriel Martinez
photos Janos Schmidt