Photo courtesy of Melissa Bakh
                                Mercer Island eighth grader Finn Friedland is adept at stopping oppposing team’s offenses from scoring in water polo from the goalie position. Friedland will be a freshman at Mercer Island High School during the 2018-19 school year.

Photo courtesy of Melissa Bakh Mercer Island eighth grader Finn Friedland is adept at stopping oppposing team’s offenses from scoring in water polo from the goalie position. Friedland will be a freshman at Mercer Island High School during the 2018-19 school year.

Friedland attains a coveted honor in the pool

Mercer Island middle school student is a brick wall between the posts.

Mercer Island Middle School eighth grader Finn Friedland attained an achievement for the ages in April.

Friedland, who has only played competitive water polo for the past two years, was selected to join the 14U USA Water Polo Development National team. Friedland landed a spot on the roster after competing in the National Team Selection Camp in Orange County, California. Friedland took up the sport of water polo regularly as a 12-year-old and hasn’t looked back.

“I just fell in love with it. The goalie is the backbone of the defense,” Friedland said of the sport. “It is tough being a goalie and you definitely have to be tough on yourself. When you let in that goal that you should have blocked, you have to have a short memory and forget it quickly. It’s a slippery slope.”

Finn’s mother Dawn is proud of her son for committing himself to the sport of water polo.

“It is so exciting. He is so clearly in love with the sport. He is just all in and loves it so much. To see him go so far is really exciting,” Dawn said.

Friedland credited Northwest Water Polo Club and one of their coaches John Jacobson for turning him into the player he is today.

“My coach John (Jacobson) is awesome. We are really lucky to have him,” Friedland said. “I love the Northwest Water Polo Club so much because they push you beyond what I thought was possible.”

Dawn concurred with Finn’s assessment.

“The level of coaching he receives with Northwest Water Polo is great. The discipline, the rigor and the mental toughness is incredible,” Dawn said.

The 14-year-old water polo star already has aspirations of the future in the water polo world.

“I have two really big goals. My dream is to go to the University of California Berkeley and play water polo in college. My other goal is to eventually go to the Olympics,” Friedland said.

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