Locals secure academic accolades

GLENDALE — Adrienne Ingalla can certainly relate to the hectic schedule between balancing academics and playing competitive sports.

It's something Ingalla has done quite often the past several years. Whether it's preparing for an advanced placement course or competing in a high-profile girls' water polo match, Ingalla treats each situation equally.

"My primary focus is schoolwork first, but water polo is a passion," said Ingalla, a senior at Crescenta Valley High and one of four members from the Falcon Water Polo Club who recently earned Academic All-American status from the United States Water Polo organization for the 2009-10 season. "It's all about staying on top of your schoolwork and managing your time wisely.

"There are a lot of hours spent doing homework. Water polo is something I spend five days week and weekends doing, too."

Also earning scholastic recognition from the Falcon Water Polo Club were Stefanie Loporchio, Rita Neat and Tyler Brown.

Selections are based on students completing their freshman, sophomore or junior years and having a 3.6 grade-point average or higher. In addition, the student-athletes must have competed in a USA Water Polo National Championship, such as the Junior Olympics, to be eligible. The quartet participated in the 2010 USA Water Polo Junior Olympics in early August.

Ingalla, a hole/guard, and Loporchio, a driver, are also members of the Crescenta Valley High girls' water polo team. Neat and Brown are utility players for the La Cañada High and South Pasadena girls' water polo programs, respectively. Loporchio will be a junior and Neat, an All-Area member along with Ingalla this past season, and Brown are seniors.

Falcon Water Polo Club and Crescenta Valley girls' water polo Coach Pete Loporchio said balancing academics and sports must take discipline.

"It's something that's hard to do," Loporchio said. "It's a lot of work for them to do.

"This is something that should be quite an honor to them. They have achieved athletically and academically."

The All-American Program has existed for three years.

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