By RENALDO DORSETT
Tribune Sports Reporter
Local Water Polo continues to reach milestones as several players secured roster spots with a United States based team on their path to the National Junior Polo Olympics.
Seven members of Bahamas Mantas Water Polo - Alex Turnquest, Gabriel Sastre, Nicholas Wallace-Whitfield, Gabriel Encinar, Thomas Illing, Damian Gomez and Thor Sasso - joined the Houston Storms at the qualifying tournament in Houston, Texas where they finished fourth out of 10 teams.
They opened the tournament with a 21-4 win over CFWPC, followed by a 16-9 win over the Longhorns and a 21-0 win over Viper Pigeon Black. They lost the final match of the group stage, 27-6 to Thunder Black. In the semifinal they suffered a 17-6 loss to Trident and in the bronze medal final, came up short to Viper Pigeon Green, 18-6.
The USA Water Polo Junior Olympic Championships is the largest age group water polo tournament in America. Athletes and teams come from across the country to compete on the national stage. The Junior Olympics Tournament consists of two divisions, the Championship Division and the Classic Division.
Teams compete over a 4-day period within their respective age category.
The team will compete in Session I of the event, July 21-24 in San Jose, California.
The Bahamas' water polo programme continues its trend as one of the elite performers in the region after its latest series of championship performances at CARIFTA.
The Bahamas closed out the four-day competition at this segment of the 33rd CARIFTA Aquatics Championships in Kingston, Jamaica with a trio of gold medals.
Next up for the programme will be the Sunshine State Games in Florida, June 22-24 and the CCCAN Championships June 27-July 3 in El Salvador.