Good Sports: Clovis water polo captain leads by example

FRESNO, Calif.

The Cougars will be led by one of the state's toughest competitors in the pool and in the classroom.

Clovis High senior Hannah Harvey is the kind of athlete every coach dreams of having.

"It's a huge deal to have a couple of captains or a single captain that is able to communicate without being kind of condescending or overbearing with her teammates. It shows a lot of character and maturity on her part as just a senior in high school," Clovis High girls water polo coach Evan Baird said.

She is an elite performer, able to bring out the best in herself and her teammates.

"Basically I just try to be a good role model. Do what I'm supposed to do, practice hard, because you practice how you play so practices are taken very seriously," Harvey said.

The reigning division one player of the year is a two-time defending section champion at Clovis High, improving steadily since picking up the sport just four years ago on a chance visit to a boys practice.

"I remember that practice I made a lob shot on one of the guy goalies. And I was like 'ok. Maybe this will work'," Harvey said.

"She's a great swimmer already, and that was a great prelude to becoming a good water polo player. Athleticism just kind of played into that," Baird said.

Scoring goals in the fall, winning races in the spring, Harvey's also the reigning Valley champion in the 200 meter freestyle. But it's the team aspect of water polo that excites her.

"I feel like in swimming you either have a good or a bad day. When it comes to water polo you can have a bad day but your team is there to back you up," Harvey said.

And the 4.0 student says competition also drives her in the classroom where she says she hasn't earned below an a since third grade.

"I don't like to lose," Harvey said.

Harvey is verbally committed to UC Davis next year where she will play water polo for the Aggies.

"I'm also looking to go pre-med route, so Davis is a good school for that," Harvey said.

So whether it's studying up on medicine or sewing up another hobby: "I like to little puppet things. I actually made a walrus for my boyfriend over the summer," Harvey said.

It's a safe bet Harvey will do it well and won't stop until she has it down perfectly.

Our coaching staff, all of her teachers and friend are very excited for her and her future prospects," Baird said.

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