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Life-long passion

Turlock native competes in international water polo competition

POSTED August 13, 2010 10:03 p.m.

Andre Weiglein has been playing water polo most of his life.

The Turlock native started playing water polo in summer leagues when he was 11 years old. Over three decades later, he continues to play competitively with the Olympic Club of San Francisco.

Weiglein, who owns AER Worldwide — The Electronics Lifecycle Resource, recently traveled to Sweden with the Olympic Club’s 45 and older team to compete in the World FINA Masters Water Polo Championships.

The team finished third, defeating the Masters Old Fellows of Brazil 3-2 in their final match. The Dynamo Masters of Russia took first place and WPC Kiev of Ukraine came in second. The Olympic Club went 5-1-1 at the eight-day event held July 29 through Aug. 5.

“It’s always better to leave with a win,” said Weiglein about his team’s third place finish.

Weiglein is no stranger to international competition. While at Turlock High, he was a member of the Junior Olympics National Championship water polo team in 1981. He then went on to be a four-year varsity player for Cal, where he was a member of two NCAA Division I National Championship teams in ’84 and ’87.

After Cal, Weiglein continued his water polo career as a member of the USA National B Olympic training team in ’87-’88. From ’88 until now he has been a member of the Olympic Club water polo team. He was a member of the Olympic Club’s U.S. Masters National Championship team every year from ’96 to 2001, and then 2003. In 2002, he was a member of the Olympic Club’s FINA World Masters Championship team in the 35 and older division.

When asked why he continues to compete in water polo, Weiglein gave two main reasons: the camaraderie of sports and to stay fit.

“It’s a fraternal experience,” he said. “It’s the same guys we’ve been playing with and against in college and high school.

“It gives us a reason to stay in shape. In masters level play, the level goes down, but it’s still competitive.”

As a member of a World FINA Masters Championship team, Weiglein also appreciates the chance to play against some of the best water polo players to have ever stepped into the pool.

“The East European teams and former Soviet Bloc teams are some of the best water polo teams in the world,” he said. “Some of the best athletes in their areas went into water polo. Here in the U.S., the best guys go into football, basketball and baseball.”

Weiglein was especially excited to be able to compete against Georgi Mchvenieradze of the Dynamo Masters. Mchvenieradze was a former Olympic athlete for the U.S.S.R.

“He still has amazing skills,” Weiglein said.

Weiglein attributes his life-long passion for water polo to former Turlock High coach Steve Feaver, who always encouraged him to compete.

To contact Kristina Hacker, e-mail khacker@turlockjournal.com or call 634-9141 ext. 2004.

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