South Surrey’s Hannah Cox will graduate George Washington University as the women’s water-polo team’s all-time leading scorer.

South Surrey water-polo star wraps up NCAA career

Former Pacific Storm player Hannah Cox reflects on impressive college career after four years at George Washington University.

The athletic-department webpages for most college athletes are fairly similar.

They list the usual boilerplate information – a headshot, name, date of birth, hometown and high school – and underneath, a few other morsels of news, be it athletic accomplishments or personal history, are often listed as well.

Hannah Cox’s page on George Washington University’s athletic website, however, takes much longer to digest.

The South Surrey water-polo star is just finishing up her senior season at the Washington, D.C.-area school, and a full listing of her NCAA athletic feats requires more than a few scrolls of the mouse.

When Cox wraps up her collegiate career in the pool next week at George Washington’s conference tournament, she will leave the women’s water-polo program as its all-time leading scorer, and the only player in team history to score 50 goals in two or more seasons.

Last year, she became the seventh player in GWU history to score 150 career goals. She has also been recognized multiple times as a conference all-academic all-star, and earned repeated spots on the dean’s list.

She was also a finalist for the Red Auerbach Award – recognizing leadership and community service – at GWU’s Georgey Awards, which were held Tuesday.

Though her success in the pool, and in the classroom, is undeniable, Cox is quick to credit others for helping her reach such lofty heights, even going so far as to suggest she has simply been in the right place at the right time.

“I’ve been lucky to come into this program at a time of really huge growth in our athletic department. We’ve had a lot of support in my time here, and I think a lot of my accomplishments are a byproduct of that environment – I have just been lucky enough to be here,” she said.

Once her collegiate career wraps up and she is done with final exams – Cox will graduate with a bachelor of science degree in biology, with a minor in health and wellness – she intends to move on to veterinary school, though she admits it will be difficult to leave competitive water polo behind.

“It’s bittersweet. I’m excited to move on and get onto the (next phase) of learning, but I’m really going to miss water polo. I don’t have any memory of living life without it,” she said.

“Water polo has informed everything I’ve done in my life up until this point, and I’m going to miss my teammates a whole lot – I love them all so much – but I’ll continue to follow them, and support them. I know they’re going to continue to get better, and I’m excited to watch them (next year).”

As well, Cox hopes to coach the sport in the coming years, continuing a long-standing tradition within her family. Growing up as a member of the Surrey Orcas and Pacific Storm water-polo clubs – she’s played since she was eight years old – Cox said every member of her family, including older brother, Nathan, has coached or managed local teams through the years. Nathan currently coaches the high school water-polo team at Vancouver’s St. George’s School, and Cox has coached Surrey Orcas and White Rock Amateur Swimming Association polo teams in the past.

A swimmer from a young age, Cox – who was born in Virginia but moved to South Surrey with her family before she started kindergarten – and her brother were turned on to water polo by a family friend.

“My dad found out about the (Orcas), and he played water polo growing up in Miami, and loved it, so he was happy to get us involved,” Cox explained. “And I’ve been playing ever since.”

Making the jump from local elite clubs to the NCAA was a difficult adjustment as a freshman, Cox said, but the last four years have blown by in a hurry.

“It all seems to have gone by so fast, looking back on it now. My freshman year, I could never imagine being where I am now,” she said. “The opportunities, the learning experiences I’ve had – the biggest thing is growing as a person and figuring out what I want in life, and in water polo, too.”

In the short term, what Cox and her two fellow senior teammates – who are also her best friends and roommates – want is to make a few waves on their way out.

“We didn’t finish as well as we would’ve liked to (at the conference tournament) last year, and I think we’re better and stronger now than we’ve ever been,” she said.

“I know I’m going to give it my all… We want to come out on top against these teams we’ve been fighting against for four years. For the three of us, I can’t imagine a better way to go out.”

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