Atkinson still pools his talent


POSTED: Thursday, October 01, 2009

Consider Egen Atkinson a trailblazer.

The Harvard senior has cut out quite an impressive resume beginning with his days at 'Iolani.

Valedictorian, National Merit finalist, Presidential Scholar nominee, Bausch & Lomb Science Award winner, a talented singer, member of the Science Bowl state championship team, a tutor, and yes, he's even good at ping pong.

There's no doubt Atkinson will have plenty more to add to that list in the coming years, but in the next two months, there's something dear to his heart that would rank right up there with all of those achievements.

Something that, even at Harvard, has never been accomplished.

“;Our goal is to win the (final-four) bid from the East Coast (in water polo),”; Atkinson said. “;It would be an amazing way to end it. It's something Harvard has never done.”;





        Name: Egen Atkinson

School: Harvard


Class: Senior


Position: 2-meter


High School: Iolani '06




Even with all the hobbies and school-related activities Atkinson is involved with, he's found time to put together an impressive water polo career. Whether at 'Iolani, where he was a three-year starter and led the team in scoring his junior season, or at Harvard, where he leads the team in scoring and is a team captain, Atkinson has always made time for one of his biggest passions.

“;Facing basically the end of my career here, I'm coming to the realization that I don't ever want to give up playing water polo,”; he said. “;At one level or another, whether it's a pickup game or with a good athletic club, I'll definitely find ways to keep playing in the future.”;

This weekend is one of the most enjoyable ones of the year for Atkinson, who left late last night for California to compete in the Claremont Convergence. Harvard generally makes the trip out west once a year, giving up the heated indoor pool environment on the East Coast for the outdoor sunny warmth of California.

“;Water polo was never intended to be played indoors, so it's great to get out and play in the sun and play some good California teams,”; Atkinson said.

The trip provides the Crimson a chance to play top-tier talent in California to help prepare for league play back home. All of the top-ranked teams in water polo are on the West Coast, but when it comes time for the NCAA final four, one berth is saved for a team from the East Coast, which Atkinson hopes will be his.

“;We've had a couple of good chances, but our highest finish was my sophomore year when we came in fourth,”; Atkinson said. “;Like our coach says, we're going to California to kind of sharpen our edge and when we get back, we'll be focused on winning our league and hopefully getting that bid.”;

Water sports have been a staple in the Atkinson family, dating back to his father, who was a swimmer at the University of Pennsylvania, and his uncle, who rowed at Harvard.

But even with such strong ties to Ivy League schools, following in those footsteps wasn't something he thought much about in high school.

“;I really didn't think about it at all to be honest,”; he said. “;For me, I was just trying to find the right balance. I knew I wanted to keep playing water polo at a Division I school, but I also wanted to accomplish other things as well, so Harvard was sort of the best of both worlds.”;


Miyashiro sets record

Washington volleyball standout Tamari Miyashiro (Kalani '05) wasn't quite sure why someone was handing her a quick postgame dessert.

“;I actually didn't know I broke the record until (teammate) Kelcey (Dunaway's) mom gave me some candy afterward,”; the All-America libero said. “;I knew I was in striking distance, but didn't know how close I was.”;

That record is the most digs in school history, as Miyashiro's 15 against Oregon State on Sunday gave her 2,048 for her career, the most by a Washington player and fifth most in a career in Pac-10 history.

Miyashiro, the reigning two-time national defensive player of the year, was named Pac-10 player of the week as the third-ranked Huskies remained undefeated with a sweep of the Oregon schools.

She broke the record against a Beavers team led by starting setter Camilla Ah-Hoy (Kahuku '06), who had 29 assists, seven digs and five block assists in the three-game sweep.




» Oregon State sophomore starting linebacker David Pa'aluhi (Waianae '07) had a team-high 12 tackles and safety Suaesi Tuimaunei (Kahuku '06) finished with 10 tackles in a 37-32 loss to Arizona. Receiver Aaron Nichols (Kamehameha '06) caught a 13-yard touchdown pass and made a tackle for the Beavers, while starter Lolomana Mikaele (Damien '06) had three tackles, including 1 1/2 tackles for losses, and half a sack, for the Wildcats.

» Oregon quarterback Jeremiah Masoli (Saint Louis '06) completed 21 of 25 passes for 253 yards and three touchdowns in a 42-3 upset of then-No. 6 California. Masoli also rushed eight times for 21 yards. California's Tyson Alualu (Saint Louis '05) finished with eight tackles and a sack and freshman Aaron Tipoti (Academy of the Pacific '08) was in on four tackles.

» Idaho linebacker Robert Siavii (Leilehua '08) had seven tackles and a forced fumble and Jojo Dickson (Baldwin '07) had three tackles in a 34-31 victory on the road at Northern Illinois. Sophomore Kama Bailey (Damien '08) returned three kickoffs for 64 yards and added a 2-yard reception.

» Washington senior Daniel Teo-Nesheim (Hawaii Prep '05) had four tackles and a forced fumble in a 34-14 loss to Stanford. This week, the Huskies face Notre Dame, which got a 12-yard sack from true freshman Manti Te'o (Punahou '09) in a 24-21 win over Purdue.

» Weber State quarterback Cameron Higgins (Saint Louis '06) shared Big Sky offensive player of the week honors with two other people after completing 31 of 47 passes for 410 yards with four touchdowns and no interceptions in a 36-29 win over Portland State. Andrew Godinet (Kamehameha '09) had two tackles and Kalua Noa (Kaiser '09) had one for the Vikings.

» Texas starting libero Sydney Yogi (Punahou '08) had 10 digs and three assists to help the second-ranked Longhorns remain undefeated with a four-set victory over Nebraska on Saturday.
» Occidental (Calif.) junior Ginger Grimes (St. Andrew's Priory '07) posted a double-double with 30 assists and 14 digs in a four-set loss to Redlands.
» Hofstra freshman Kylee Maneja (Sacred Hearts '09) was named the Colonial Athletic Association co-defensive player of the week on Monday. She led the Pride to a four-set victory over Northeastern, averaging 4.25 digs per set. She finished with a team-high 17 digs and helped hold the Huskies to a .164 hitting percentage. She's tallied double figures in digs in 11 of 13 matches this season and is fourth in the CAA in digs.
» Pacific (Ore.) sophomore Kelsy Takashima (Molokai '08) had 15 kills and hit .424 in a five-set loss to Linfield (Ore.) on Saturday. Christina Chandler (Leilehua '07) had three kills and Mari Kondo (Mid-Pacific '07) had 15 digs off the bench for the Boxers, while Samantha Lau (St. Francis '08) had a team-high 31 digs and two aces for the Wildcats.

» Loyola Marymount junior Andrew Aki (Punahou '06) scored a team-high three goals to lead the fifth-ranked Lions to a 9-5 victory over No. 9 Long Beach State on Saturday.

» Southern Methodist junior Kekoa Osorio (Kamehameha '07) scored his first goal of the season in a 3-1 loss to Missouri State in the SMU Classic on Sunday. Osorio was named to the all-tournament team.

» Loyola Marymount sophomore Erin Rementer (Punahou '08) scored off a rebound in the 11th minute to help the Lions beat Cal State Bakersfield 3-0 on Sunday. Two of her three shots taken in the game were on goal.