Erika Seltenreich-Hodgson knew it was time to let her career go.
At the end of a comfortable 19-5 semifinals win over Brazil, Canada’s women’s water polo team experienced a moment of elation 15 years in the making.
There’s not much for a competitive swimmer to think about once they’re standing on the pool deck with their hours and days and weeks of training behind them. There’s no strategy or game planning at play in the moment; the sole imperative is to get in the zone. And so with headphones on, flowing pump-up music into her ears, Regan Rathwell prepared to dive into a pool next to girls as many as five years her senior.
They’re rivals for the top of the podium every time they meet, and they are members of different clubs that share the same facility at Nepean Sportsplex but largely keep to themselves.
Fresh off of the Golden Titans’ victory at the 19U Eastern Conference Championships, 18-year-old water polo star Diego Gonzalez has his sights set on the National Championship League finals in Calgary in late May, and then eventually, the Olympics.
Local water polo players Bogdan Djerkovic (above) and Jessica Gaudreault came up big in the most crucial matches to help the Canadian men’s and women’s teams earn a berth in the FINA World League Super Final.
Ottawa-bred swimmer Eli Wall missed qualifying for Canada’s national team that will travel to the world championships but is still holding out hope that he’ll be tapped for next year’s Olympic team.