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July 11, 2013

Churchman to Represent USA at Maccabiah Games

Scott Churchman '13 (Houston, Texas) is among 13 players selected to represent the United States at this year's Maccabiah Games in Tel Aviv, Isreal.

The team, which features several former and current college players, will be coached by Doug Peabody of the San Diego Shores Water Polo Club.

As the only goalkeeper on the roster, Churchman figures to play a prominent role for the team at the games, just as he did during his career at Occidental College.

As a senior in 2012, Churchman led the Tigers with a career-high 276 saves and 27 steals in 27 games played. He also earned his fourth consecutive NCAA All-Academic award.

The chemistry major graduated last spring after appearing in 84 games during his four years with the team. He finished his Oxy career with 659 saves and 89 steals. He spent the past two seasons as the team's starting goalie.

Churchman isn't the first Tiger to play in the games. Former goalie Misha Grigoriev played for Team USA at the 2005 Maccabiah games, where he earned a silver medal.  

While Churchman has his eyes on a gold medal for the USA this summer, he's mostly happy for the chance to continue his water polo career.

 "There are very few chances to keep playing after college in this country, so I'm really excited to continue and especially honored to represent the United States," said Churchman. "Playing water polo was a huge part of my Oxy experience and to me this is an extension of my career as a Tiger. I never would have had this opportunity if it weren't for the fact that I came to Occidental College to pursue my education and play college water polo."

Churchman will anchor the defense for a team that program manager Leland Faust considers the best Team USA has ever fielded in the event.

Oxy head coach Larry Zubrin considers Churchman's selection to the team as an honor for the entire program.

"Scott is the perfect representative from our program.  We're all very excited for him to have this opportunity," Zubrin said. "This is an excellent example of how an individual can succeed both academically and athletically at the Division III level, and continue to compete at the highest level in the sport."

The opening ceremonies for the 19th Maccabiah Games will be held July 17 in Tel Aviv. Water Polo competition runs from July 22-27 with teams competing from throughout the world.

For more information on Team USA and the Maccabiah Games visit the program website at:

http://www.maccabiusa.com/seclect-a-sport/water-polo.html