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Star-Bulletin Sports

Wednesday, August 9, 2000


Photo courtesy of Nancy Kern
Sean Kern, a Punahou graduate, is expected to be
named to the U.S. Water Polo team today.

Pool work pays
off for Kern

The U.S. Olympic water polo
team is expected to officially
select isle player

By Pat Bigold

Former Punahou and UCLA water polo star Sean Kern, competing in Budapest against the Hungarian national team, is expected to be officially named by head coach John Vargas today to the U.S. Olympic team.

Olympic Rings The 22-year-old Kern, a 2-meter man who led UCLA to the NCAA national championship last year, is a two-time All-American and received the Peter Cutino Award as the nation's top collegiate water polo player.

"He's young, he's talented, and I think he's going to be a great asset to us in these Olympic Games, and probably in Olympics to come," Vargas said yesterday. "Sean's size and skill make him an asset to any club. He may be young, but he plays like a seasoned veteran. Sure he has things to learn, but we expect big things from him."

Kern, who spoke through USA water polo's media representative Eric Velasquez, said he was excited about the challenge.

"All the hard work and all the hours of practice . . . this is what it's all about," he said. "A shot at the Olympics.

"It's definitely the pinnacle of my career, which has a lot of years left in it."

Kern said he thinks the U.S. has a strong chance in Sydney.

"I think that this team has as good a shot as any of bringing home a gold medal," he said. "We have the talent, the desire, and the unity. Hopefully, those things will all fall into place with us a little better than, say, Australia or Yugoslavia."

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