June 30, 2008
BERKELEY - Two former California women's water polo standouts, Heather Petri and Elsie Windes, were selected to the U.S. women's water polo Olympic team, USA water polo announced Monday at the Los Angeles Athletic Club. The trip to Beijing will be Petri's third time competing at the Olympics - she took home a bronze medal in 2004 in Athens and silver at the 2000 Sydney games. This is Windes's first trip to the Olympics.
"The Cal women's water polo team, the entire Cal athletics department and I are so proud of their accomplishments," Cal women's water polo head coach Richard Corso said. "It is a great day for women's water polo team at Berkeley, and more importantly, it's a great day for our Olympic sports at Cal."
Petri lettered at Cal from 1997-99 and returned to finish her degree and eligibility in 2001. The Orinda, Calif., native was Cal's 1999 and 2001 team captain and was second team all-MPSF, MPSF Tournament first team and All-National first-team in 1999.
Windes was a four-year letter-winner at Cal from 2004-07. A three-time All-American at Cal, Windes scored 23 goals in 18 matches in her senior year and concluded her career with 147 goals (fifth place on Cal's all-time scoring list). The Portland, Ore., native was Cal's first true freshman ever to be selected as an honorable mention All-American.
"Petri is a player who maximized her efforts to become a great team player," Corso said. "She has had a winning mindset for over a decade with the national team. Heather has built up a great deal of personal success, which at the international level translates into winning medals. She is a great role model for every woman that puts on a water polo cap."
Petri and Windes played together when Team USA won gold at the 2007 Pan-American Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Petri and fellow former Golden Bear Ericka Lorenz won gold at the 2003 Pan-Am games in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. Lorenz also played with Petri at the 2000 and 2004 Olympics but will not be making the trip to Beijing due to injury.
Petri helped Team USA win gold at the 2007 World Championships, 2006 Holiday Cup and 2006 FINA World League. She tallied five goals during Super Final 2007 and guided the United States women's water polo team to a gold medal with an 11-9 victory over Russia at the 2005 FINA Junior World Championships in Perth. Petri also represented the U.S. at the World Championships in 2007 in Melbourne, Australia (gold), 2005 in Montreal (silver) as well as in Fukuoka, Japan, in 2001 (fourth). Petri lives and trains in Long Beach, Calif.
Windes scored two goals at the 2007 Winter Cup and helped Team USA to a gold medal at the Pan American games with four goals and five steals. She also guided the United States' women's water polo team to its gold medal at the 2005 FINA Junior World Championships in Perth, Australia. Windes currently lives in Huntington Beach, Calif., and trains with the U.S. national team.
"Elsie is a young woman who has who embraced her potential," Corso said. "Over the past four years, she has believed in herself and achieved great personal and team success. She is a great player who will be mentioned in every team meeting at Cal this year."
Additionally, former Cal women's water polo volunteer assistant coach Peter Hudnut, who volunteered his services during the 2007 season, was selected to the U.S. men's water polo Olympic team. Hudnut played for Corso for six years at Harvard-Westlake and lists Corso as one of his greatest water polo influences.