Amanda Longan Makes Waterpolo Team USA
Oaks Christian alumna Amanda Longan, Class of '15, was selected by the USA Water Polo Association to Team USA, the 13-woman team to represent the United States at the Summer 2021 Tokyo Olympics. The announcement was made by USA Water Polo on June 23.
Longan becomes the second OCS alumni to become an Olympian. She follows in the footsteps of Danielle Alakija, Class of 2013, who ran the 400m at the 2012 London games as a high school senior.
“I am going to the freaking Olympics,” Longan posted on her personal Instagram account after the roster was announced.
Jack Kocur, OCS head water polo coach and former Olympic assistant coach, coached Longan as a senior while she was at Oaks Christian. He posted on his Twitter: “I am so proud of you!! The first of many to follow of Oaks Christian water polo Olympic athletes.”
While in high school Longan was a phenom garnering multiple awards and, as goalie, leading the girls water polo team to their first league championship. She was named the Tri-Valley League player of the year. As a senior she surpassed the school record with 31 saves in a single game.
After Oaks Christian, she played for University of Southern California (USC). In her stellar 2018 season, Longan had 11 games with double-digit saves and became the first USC goalie ever to record two complete-game shutouts. Her work helped solidify USC's defense to end the season as the NCAA Championship for a 26-1 final record. Her successes at USC included two NCAA Championships.
She also won the prestigious Peter J. Cutino award for her outstanding performance as the goalie for the USC women's water polo team. The award is considered the "Heisman trophy" of water polo and the recipient is selected by the Division 1 US water polo coaches. The award is given annual to the top male and female in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). Longan is only the second USC female goalie to win the award.
As a college sophomore, she was called up by the senior national team and trained for her first major event, the 2017 FINA World Championships in Budapest, Hungary. She debuted in a 18-3 victory over New Zealand and played in games against South Africa. She continued with the team, travelling worldwide, gaining valuable training, and playing experience.
Her Olympic dreams were delayed because of COVID-19, and the Olympics being cancelled. But she continued to train and keep her Olympic dream alive as the goalie for the Women's National Team hoping to make the Tokyo Games. And now the payoff is here, and she is Tokyo bound.
Photos by: Catharyn Hayne Photoraphy