South Sider enjoys a busy week in and out of the pool
Grant Rauterkus, 16, South Side resident and 10th grade student athlete from Pittsburgh Obama Academy, participated in two national events between Wednesday and Sunday last week.
First was a research poster he was first author with based on sound quality measurements with musicians hearing protection of fellow classmates in the school’s steel drum band to the American Academy of Audiology annual conference, branded Audiology NOW! (http://www.AudiologyNOW.org), in the Orange County Convention Center is Orlando, Florida. The scientific and professional meeting is the largest event for that profession with more than 7,000 registered, including a 2014 NFL Super Bowl player, Derrick Coleman, of the Seattle Seahawks, and spokesperson and user Duracell hearing aid batteries.
Grant then traveled to the Dallas area to be a starter for the A team for the Northeast Zone (which includes states from Pennsylvania and Maryland to Maine) team as part of USA Water Polo’s Olympic Development Program, East/West Boys Regional Championships playing for the Red Squad, grades 9 and 10.
His team won two matches on Saturday beating the Mountain and Pacific Northwest squads by greater than 10 goals in each game. A two goal loss came in Sunday’s first game to the Southwest team.
The final game was a win, 16-8, over Southeast. Grant scored on a play from the two post on a man up opportunity.
Throughout the water polo tournament the USA National Team coaches evaluate all the players and make invitations to a “USA Water Polo Selection Camp” to be held in May in California. Results of those tryouts make players that are put onto the various Junior USA squads for future international tournaments.
Grant was invited to the selection camp, his first ever, and putting him in the final stages for opportunities to join USA squads for his age group. This pathway eventually leads to the picking of USA Olympic Games Team and helps in becoming a blue-chip recruit for college water polo teams and scholarships.
Many other players and coaches from the greater Pittsburgh area participated this weekend with the boys and last weekend in Salt Lake City with the girls event. Tiger Water Polo’s squad had players in all age groups and helped the Notheast Zone win its third consecutive championship game in the oldest age group of 11th and 12th grade players.