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The Foothill Dragon Press

The Student News Site of Foothill Technology High School

The Foothill Dragon Press

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Athlete of the Week: Emily Vasquez

Rihanna Samples
Emily Vasquez ’24 receives Athlete of the Week for her remarkable girls’ water polo season, where she has displayed exceptional skills as one of the two seniors on the water polo team. The Foothill Technology High School (Foothill Tech) community appreciates all her hard work in representing the school.

During her time as team captain of both the varsity girls’ water polo and the varsity girls’ swim and dive team at Foothill Technology High School (Foothill Tech), Emily Vasquez ‘24 has played a principal role in Foothill Tech’s aquatic sports through her individual mentorship and encouragement of other players.

Vasquez began playing water polo during her freshman year at Foothill Tech. Having no prior experience, she thought the sport sounded fun and wanted to give it a try. As a senior, she has played water polo for all four years of her time attending Foothill Tech as a crucial player, playing the positions of outer wing and set.

Having been a member of the swim team for three years and a member of the water polo team for four years of high school, Vasquez said she “started swimming to get faster at water polo.” Even though joining the swim team was originally just a means to get better at her favored sport, Vasquez admitted that swim has taught her valuable lessons such as endurance, as Vasquez believes that swim “is a mental thing since you get tired and have to push through.”

While Vasquez prefers the team aspect of water polo, she expressed, “Swimming has allowed me to compete against myself.” Vasquez prefers swim practice to meets, but appreciates going to meets where she can set new personal records, her most memorable being in the hundred fly event where she finished at a remarkable time of 1:22. 

For water polo, Vasquez enjoyed playing in every game, but her favorite moment was her senior year’s first league game against Cate School. Unfortunately they had lost by one point, but Vasquez was glad that her team’s defense was able to hold them off for so long as the game even went into overtime and nearly double overtime, considering that they were not allowed to practice at the Ventura Aquatic Center for two weeks prior to the game.

During Vasquez’s freshman and sophomore years, she would watch Foothill Tech alumni Ruby O’Conner ‘22 compete in water polo games. As a beginner in playing water polo, Vasquez stated that, “Watching her play allowed me to pick up some of her skills.”

Although she does not see herself going on to play collegiate level sports, Vasquez intends to continue playing “recreationally or for fun.” She has enjoyed playing both sports and while the time commitment can lead to some struggles in balancing school with athletics, as Vasquez stated, “It’s worth it.”

Vasquez’s next competition will be at the Ventura County Champs swim meet which will start on March 19, 2024, and end on March 22, 2024. This competition highlights elite swimmers around Ventura County who are invited to compete against one another.

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About the Contributors
Emilie Huovinen
Emilie Huovinen, Writer
I write articles not tragedies.
Rihanna Samples
Rihanna Samples, Multimedia Editor
A junior who is constantly looking at the world through the lens of a camera.

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