Girls' Water Polo: Harrington commits to Harvard

Newport Harbor High senior Cleo Harrington has committed to play women's water polo at Harvard University, she said Saturday night.

Harrington is entering her third season as varsity goalie for the Sailors. Last year she made 295 saves, tops among Orange County Division 1 goalies, in helping Newport Harbor return to the CIF Southern Section Division 1 championship match for the second straight year. She earned Newport-Mesa Co-Player of the Year honors, as well as first-team All-Sunset League and second-team All-CIF accolades.

As a sophomore, Harrington helped the Sailors win their fifth Division 1 title. She said she liked the location of Harvard ever since going on a field trip to the east coast in the eighth grade.

"I guess I always wanted to go there," said Harrington, who took an official visit to the school in September. "And I fell in love with it more and more ... I wanted to get out of California and get a totally different perspective on life."

Harvard finished 18-16 last year, and sixth place at the Collegiate Water Polo Assn. Championships.

Newport Harbor opens its season at Coronado on Dec. 7. Harrington projects as one of three returning starters for the Sailors, along with senior Christina O'Beck and junior Rachel Whitelegge.

— Matt Szabo

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