Get to Know …
Minutes after celebrating the Lady Falcons’ first ever CIF championship in February, Elissa Arnold said accomplishing the feat was “more of a need than a want.”
It was that kind of determination from Elissa and the rest of her team in 2012-13 that allowed Crescenta Valley to take home the Division V plaque. Elissa is also a member of the school’s swim team, though she said she doesn’t necessarily enjoy the meets, but at least it keeps her in shape for water polo.
Because she’s a junior, Elissa will have a chance next season to defend CV’s title with key returners like Ashley Taylor, Shanon Hovanessian and Lynley Fernandez. Read more below to find out what life has been like for Elissa since the season ended.
Do you have a favorite sport to play or watch besides water polo? Definitely football! I actually dream of being the first female head NFL coach. I love every aspect of football, except I could never play because it involves running, which I can’t do.
Any big summer movies you are looking forward to, or maybe you’ve seen already?
I saw “The Great Gatsby” already and loved Leonardo DiCaprio in it. I really want to see the Star Trek when it comes out.
Do you listen to any music to get you pumped before a match?
I listen to David Guetta’s “Titanium,” and Kanye West’s “Clique.” I’m more of a country music kind of girl but the fast-paced rap stuff gets me in “game mode.”
What’s your favorite aspect of playing water polo?
I really like the mental component. A lot of people don’t realize this, but we have a lot of plays we have to run and memorize to compete in the higher stress games. It’s not all just splashing and swimming.
Did any classmates or teachers say anything to you after you won the championship?
Almost all of my teachers congratulated me on the victory, yet not many classmates acknowledged it, or even knew about it. Water polo — especially girls — really doesn’t seem to be on the students’ radars.
It’s been a few months since the last game. Has it sunk in yet?
I feel almost as polo season never ended. It might sink in when the rings are done and I have mine on my finger.
What are your plans for the summer?
Summer session for water polo club begins and I’m going to be training all summer for Junior Olympics and possibly with the junior national team. I guess what they say is true, “Train insane or remain the same.”
Who is your best friend on the team, and why?
Lynley Fernandez … she’s like a sister and completely understands me as a person.
Anything specific you are looking forward to next year being a senior?
I’m only taking two AP classes and am going to be in [Associated Students] so I might actually have time outside of practicing and school to have a little fun with friends.
Finish this sentence: Being a CIF champion is …
One thing that will be with me my entire life, and nobody can ever take it away.
by Brandon Hensley