National champions to visit White House

Kaleigh Gilchrist, a former Newport Harbor High standout, is definitely excited to visit the White House with the rest of her USC women's water polo teammates on Monday and she has made special plans for the event.

She posted Friday as her status on Facebook: "Flying to the White House to meet President Obama on Sunday! Goal for the trip is to get a selfie of us throwing up shakas together."

Fans and friends can check out to see if Gilchrist does get that coveted selfie with the President showing the Hawaiian sign most know as the "hang loose" gesture. The event will be streamed live on

Gilchrist is among several local athletes being honored by President Barack Obama, who will host the 2012-2013 NCAA Division I men's and women's champions for an event on the South Lawn.

The UC Irvine men's volleyball team, that won the 2013 national championship, will be among 19 teams scheduled to be at the event.

The Anteaters rode late-season momentum and swept top-seeded BYU in the national championship match to earn back-to-back NCAA titles last year. It was UCI's fourth title in the previous seven years.

Gilchrist, also a top-level surfer, helped lead the USC women's water polo to the national crown last year.

The top-seeded Trojans beat Stanford, 10-9, in the third sudden-death period to capture their fourth national title. Gilchrist scored 45 goals last season, second on the team.

Last year's team also included Newport Beach resident Chelsea Silvers (Mater Dei) and Nicolina McCall, who played at Newport Harbor.

Gilchrist has scored 17 goals this season for USC (14-0), which is ranked No. 1 in the nation.

Monday's event at the White House will also feature the USC men's water polo team, that won its sixth straight national championship with a 12-11 overtime win against Pacific in December.

The Trojans included the late Jon Walters, a Newport Beach resident who starred at Mater Dei. Walters died in January of a heart attack, his father, Bill, told the media. The official cause of death has yet to be reported.

Zach Lucas (Newport Harbor), Chase Watson (Corona del Mar), Emery Molnar (Corona del Mar), Park Eddy (Newport Harbor), Andrew Silvers (Newport Harbor) and Gerrit Hill (Orange Coast) were also a part of the USC championship team.

— Steve Virgen

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