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July 13, 2014

Around the Horn with Lauren Conte, Phillips Academy water polo

She tried out for water polo on a whim as a freshman and became a star.

Recent Phillips Academy graduate Lauren Conte of Methuen helped lead the Big Blue to the New England Prep title this spring and the co-captain will continue her career at Wesleyan.

She’s also a talented swimmer. This winter she swam for Phillips’ 200 medley relay team which placed second at the New England Prep Division 1 meet.

In this week’s Around the Horn, Conte spoke of her career in the water, how she ended up at Phillips and her dream of appearing on “Wheel of Fortune.”

How did you get into water polo? “Spring of my freshman year, we were required to pick a sport. A lot of swimmers do water polo. I did water polo and ended up loving it. It was the best decision I ever made.”

How do you describe the sport? “It’s a mix between soccer and hockey. You can only use one hand so that adds a little bit of a twist to it.”

What did it mean to win the New England Prep title? “That was amazing. There were five seniors on the team. We knew we had a shot but all the teams were evenly matched. The finals were our last game. It was just surreal.”

What was the score in the finals? “We beat Choate Rosemary Hall 8-7.”

Was there a lot of drama? “It was back and forth the whole time. One of my teammates, Sasha Newton, scored with 30 seconds left. Then for 30 seconds we had to play keep-away. It was the most nerve-racking 30 seconds of my life.”

What did it mean to make the All-NEPSAC Tourney team? “That was pretty cool. Along with Sasha and Kait Simpson, who was MVP. It was a great achievement for all of us.”

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