Jeff Hagen: Water Polo’s team captain is October’s featured athlete

Brendan Hallinan

For senior Jeff Hagen, being recognized for athletic accomplishments via newspaper is commonplace; he was Main Line Media News’ male athlete of the week recently.

Hagen has been a prominent player on the varsity water polo team for the last four years, and was a first team All-Inter Ac selection last year as a junior. The senior captain was recently named by United States Water Polo as an Academic All-American, due in part to his stellar performance in the classroom and on the club level for water polo.

I had the opportunity to sit down with Hagen last week, and ask him some questions about his water polo career.

1. You were selected for first team All-Inter Ac for your position, two meter specialist. Can you explain what your responsibilities are at that position?
Two meters is basically a center in basketball. The other five guys form an umbrella shape around the two meter. When I get the ball I look to either score, kick the ball back out, or draw an ejection. An ejection is similar to man up in lacrosse, you have 25 seconds to play man up, 6 on 5.

2. Water polo isn’t a widely popular sport in the United States for high school students. What attracted you to the sport? When did you start playing?
I started playing in 6th grade mostly because I knew Mr. Schiller from Chester Valley [Country Club] and he convinced me that I’d like the sport. Throughout middle school I played water polo and football but I decided to just stick with water polo in high school.

3. Do you look to continue your water polo career in college? If so, where would you like to play?
I’m very interested in playing water polo in college. My number one is Princeton, but I am also looking at Brown and Bucknell.

4. What has been your most memorable experience on the Malvern water polo team?
My most memorable experience was our final game last year when we beat Gonzaga 8-6 to get third place at Easterns, the highest finish our team has ever gotten. It was an awesome game, it was close the entire time. I also scored my 100th goal of the season that game which was special for me.

5. What are your goals for the season? Goals for the team and individually?
My primary goal is for our team to capture our first Inter-Ac championship in our team’s history. We have been close the last couple years and I think we have a great shot of winning this year. Individually, I would also like to break the single season and all time scoring records.