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Former Canyon star returns to share success story
ANAHEIM Former Canyon water polo standout and 2012 Olympic hopeful Courtney Mathewson returned to her high school Monday to share her success story and field questions from the aquatics program.
Before a packed audience, Mathewson talked about her rise at UCLA and her current training regiment with Team USA. She is one of 17 players training with the Los Alamitos-based team.
“I started the same way they did – I played in high school and swam,” Mathewson said before meeting the Canyon athletes. “I’ve made my way up to the national team. It’s possible with hard work and dedication and heart.”
Mathewson was an All-County performer at Canyon. She emerged late in her sophomore year at UCLA as a player on the rise and became a NCAA player of the year after her senior season.
"It definitely helped that I played (club) SOCAL Water Polo Club," Mathewson said of her rise in the sport. "I think that was the first experience that I realized that I could possibily play in college. ... Once I got to UCLA, I think I had to find of myself and really discover what I (wanted) to become as a person and a player."
Mathewson didn't start at UCLA until her junior season.
"I definitely had to work hard and put my time in," she said.
Mathewson, 25, also answered several questions, including one about which opposing nation is the “meanest” in the pool.
“China,” Mathewson replied.
The girls also enjoyed hearing about Mathewson's recent marriage to former Canyon baseball player Chris Morinello.
Mathewson's visit to Canyon was organized by USA Water Polo partner Big Fish Payroll and its founder, Justin Dignam, a Canyon alumnus.