Harvard’s Charlie Owens Tabbed as Northeast Water Polo Conference MVP

Courtesy: Northeast Water Polo Conference

BRIDGEPORT, Pa. — Harvard University’s Charlie Owens (Sr., Wilton, Conn./Wilton) garners Most Valuable Player honors, Brown University’s Cole Atwell (Fr., San Diego, Calif./La Jolla) collects Rookie of the Year recognition and Harvard’s Ted Minnis earns Coach of the Year status as the 2019 All-Northeast Water Polo Conference (NWPC) Team was released prior to the NWPC Championship on Friday-Sunday, November 22-24, at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge, Mass.

A total of 16 athletes are recognized as a tie occurred among the field players on the Second Team.

A first-time All-Conference selection, Owens picks up First Team honors after helping the No. 9-rankd Crimson to the NWPC regular season championship and a perfect 27-0 record.  He is the third Harvard player to garner Most Valuable Player honors since 1997 joining 2018 NWPC MVP/teammate Austin Sechrest (Sr., Mission Viejo, Calif./Capistrano Valley) and Joey Colton, who earned Collegiate Water Polo Association (CWPA) Northern Division MVP recognition in 2014.

He is joined on the First Team by fellow Crimson athletes Noah Hodge (So., San Juan Capistrano, Calif./Santa Margarita Catholic), Sechrest and Dennis Blyashov (Jr., Carlsbad, Calif./Cathedral Catholic).  A first-time selection at goalie for the second consecutive year, Hodge continues a trend of excellence by Harvard in cage following the selection of Anthony Ridgley on the NWPC First Team in 2017.  The 2017 NWPC Rookie of the Year, Blyashov collects his third First Team All-Conference nod after earning spots in 2017 and 2018.  Sechrest also becomes a three-time All-Conference selection after taking home Second (2017) and First (2018) Team honors the prior two seasons.

In addition to the Crimson quartet, the First Team features one selection from No. 19 Brown University, No. 19 Princeton University and St. Francis College Brooklyn as Armen Deirmenjian (Sr., Beverly Hills, Calif./Loyola), Mitchell Cooper (So., Newport Coast, Calif./Corona del Mar) and Dominick Hevesi (Fr., Budapest, Hungary/Ferenc Kolcsey) earn recognition for their institutions.  The award marks the second All-Conference nod for Deirmenjian who previously picked up Second Team recognition in 2018.

Nine athletes make the Second Team with Princeton, Brown, MIT and St. Francis Brooklyn adding to their list of All-Conference recipients.

For Princeton, goalie Antonio Knez (Fr., Dubrovnik, Croatia/Gimnazia Dubrovnik), Yurian Quinones (Fr., Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif./Santa Margarita Catholic) and Keller Maloney (So., Los Angeles, Calif./Harvard-Westlake) snag their inaugural All-Conference nods.

Brown’s trio of James Thygesen (Sr., Menlo Park, Calif./Menlo School), Atwell and 2018 Second Team recipient Hudson Rawlings (Sr., Murrieta, Calif./Murrieta Valley) join the Tigers’ three on the Second Team.  Atwell’s Rookie of the Year laurel marks the second time the Bears have picked up a ROY since the creation of the award in 2007 (2008 Collegiate Water Polo Association-Northern Division – Toby Espinosa; 2011 Collegiate Water Polo Association-Northern Division – Hank Fox).

MIT garners a pair of All-Conference picks as 2018 Second Team honoree Miller Geschke (So., Los Altos, Calif./Menlo School) and now four-time All-Conference selection (2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 Second Team) Clyde Huibregtse (Sr., New York, N.Y./Bronx) engineer their way onto the list.

The concluding spot on the 16-athlete All-Conference team belongs to St. Francis Brooklyn’s Vladimar Mickic (Fr., Subotica, Serbia/Nikola Tesla) who joins classmate Hevesi in earning recognition for the Terriers.

In addition to the recognized athletes, Harvard’s Minnis picks up his fourth Coach of the Year award – and third in men’s competition – following Collegiate Water Polo Association-Northern Division recognition in 2013 and 2015.  Further, he was named the 2015 CWPA Women’s Division I Coach of the Year.

All honorees are selected based on institutional nominations from the six NWPC institutions’ (Brown, Harvard, Iona College, MIT, Princeton, St. Francis Brooklyn) head coaches.  A ballot is compiled of the nominations and presented to head coaches to vote for 12 field players, two goalies, a Most Valuable Player, a Rookie of the Year and a Coach of the Year based on the cumulative efforts of the athletes during the 2019 season.

2018 Northeast Water Polo Conference All-Conference Team
Most Valuable Player: Charlie Owens (Harvard University)
Rookie of the Year: Cole Atwell (Brown University)
Coach of the Year: Ted Minnis)

First Team:
Noah Hodge (Goalie – Harvard University)
Austin Sechrest (Harvard University)
Charlie Owens (Harvard University)
Dennis Blyashov (Harvard University)
Armen Deirmenjian (Brown University)
Mitchell Cooper (Princeton University)
Dominick Hevesi (St. Francis College Brooklyn)

Second Team:
Antonio Knez (Goalie – Princeton University)
Yurian Quinones (Princeton University)
Keller Maloney (Princeton University)
Hudson Rawlings (Brown University)
James Thygesen (Brown University)
Cole Atwell (Brown University)
Clyde Huibregtse (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)
Miller Geschke (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)
Vladimir Mickic (St. Francis College Brooklyn)

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