Senior Spotlight: Mission Oak water polo star takes on new challenges

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Senior Sarah Mancebo was a star on the Mission Oak's water polo team and like many athletes, struggling to find ways to stay active without a pool to train in.

"I'm doing the best I can," she said. "I'm very much not a land athlete."

Mancebo made her mark on the water polo team. She was captain for the Hawks and will play next year at Penn State.

But what really impressed her coaches was trying something completely new to her and the school.

"She'd show me the bruises that she got from not landing and even the guys on the football team were like, 'Dude she's hardcore,'" says Kim Dueck.

Last season, the school brought back the diving program and Mancebo tried out.

"I made it into the qualifying heat, didn't quite make it to Valley, but I was close with times so I would've been able to make it this year," Mancebo said.

With big goals for this year, she and her friends actually reached out to the superintendent ahead of the decision to suspend the season.

"'Hey, we want everything for the best interest of our community, but we kind of feel like it really involves us. All of our activities have been canceled, we don't know what's going to happen with school. We'd like to be involved a little bit more,'" Mancebo said.

She and her friends know now, but it hasn't made the decision any easy to take.

Instead, she's focused on what she can control, like her plans to major in biology with a minor in psychology.

"I want to be an occupational therapist," she said. "I love kids, and I just want to help in any way I can."
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