As the goalie for the L.A. Premier Water Polo Club's 14-and-under boys team, El Rodeo seventh grader Sam Krutonog took home the gold last weekend at the Turbo Cup.
Held at the at University of Michigan in Ann Arbor from Nov. 2-4, the Turbo Cup features the top youth water polo teams in the country. L.A. Premier Water Polo dominated, with Krutonog blocking more than 30 goals in four games. He also made two scoring assists.
Standing at just under 5'11", the 12-year-old goalie is the youngest member of his squad.
"It was a big honor even to be there," Krutonog said. "I love the pressure of being goalie. Hearing my name by the announcer during the game was something I had to get used to."
Krutonog joined the L.A. Premier Water Polo Club in September of this year, having played for Los Angeles Water Polo Club from 2011-12. Krutonog made the All-American list at the 2012 Junior Olympics held at Stanford University, leading the 12-and-under team to a bronze medal in the Gold Division.
Staying in shape for premier water polo competition is intense. Krutonog trains on average five days per week, with many tournaments on the weekends. He'll be playing in the California Coastal Zone Championships Nov. 10-11 and in the Ventura County Cup Dec. 1-2.
Out of the water, Krutonog plays the piano and tuba, and is fluent in Russian. His little brother Nolan, a Beverly Vista sixth grader, is a goalie for the L.A. Premier Water Polo Club 12-and-under team.