Ian Wilson Selected to Compete at National Championship
Ian Wilson has been selected to
compete in the 2019 Olympic
Development Program (ODP)
National Championships! This
year's championship will be held
in March, in Riverside, California,
The ODP is the entry point
for USA Water Polo's Youth,
Cadet, and Development National
Ian Wilson of Trident Aquatics Club will be representing Oklahoma at the upcoming USA Water Polo Olympic Development Program (ODP) National Championships on March 2-3 in Riverside, CA. “We are delighted that Ian was selected to the 2018-19 Southwest Zone Cadet team. It’s especially meaningful that he is the first Oklahoman to make any SWZ squad,” says James Smith who is the Head Coach for the Southwest Zone ODP Boys Teams. Coach Sean Callan is helping prepare Ian for the tournament mixing in water polo skills/drills along with his regular swim training.
Ian moved to Oklahoma in August 2018 and started swimming with the Trident Aquatics Club along with his brother, Walker, who had moved to the area the previous winter. With Trident, Ian has blossomed into one of the best sprinters in the state within his age group. “All I can say is WOW! Trident Aquatics Club was so welcoming to Ian and our entire family. He has made so many friends and the coach is fantastic working with him. It has definitely been a bright spot in our transition to life in Oklahoma,” says his mother, Laura Wilson.
With Trident Aquatic Club growing in competitive success over the past five years, the club has a vision of providing everything aquatics, including adding a water polo club. Trident Aquatics Club is a registered USA Water Polo club for 2019, and plans are already in the works to implement water polo training/competitions in the summer/fall. “We are so excited that through the support and cooperation of Ian’s former and current coaches that water polo is coming to Oklahoma!” says Laura Wilson.
Ian has certainly taken a circuitous route to playing water polo and swimming at Trident Aquatics Club. After following his older brother into club swimming in the Houston area, Ian wanted to play team sports and signed up for lacrosse and football. In the summer of 2015, Ian attended a local water polo practice with a friend and loved the sport almost immediately as it combined swimming with the elements of soccer, basketball, lacrosse, and football.
First playing with the West Houston Water Polo Viper Pigeons and then the Southside Honey Badgers, Ian traveled to the USA Water Polo National Junior Olympics the past three years in California. After having an eye opening experience in 2016, Ian knew he wanted to go home, train harder, and get better. Ian played with the same core group of athletes the past two years that become his extended water polo family. In the summer of 2018, Ian’s Southside Honey Badgers team won a bronze medal at the USA Water Polo National Junior Olympics with Ian emerging as a team leader.
In addition to playing with West Houston and the Southside Honey Badgers, Ian attended the USA Water Polo Holiday Camp at the US Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs in December 2017 and has participated in the Southwest Zone ODP teams for the past three years. “Ian has grown tremendously as a water polo player over the past four years. He has put in a lot of hard work since his first summer league practice,” says Jeff Otten who coaches his Southwest Zone ODP team and also helped coach Ian with Southside. “In 2016, Ian was among the final cuts within his age group. He uncomplainingly played his role as an alternate that year, and one year later was easily one of the top players on the team,” says James Smith.
The Trident Aquatics Club is working with USA Water Polo to bring water polo to the greater Tulsa area based on the same guiding principles of the swim program: preparing athletes for competition and life while utilizing a holistic and comprehensive training approach. Coach Sean Callan and his staff will bring their passion for aquatics to water polo while keeping the same cornerstone development strategy of personal, individualized training. Ian Wilson is only the beginning of building a strong water polo foundation at the Trident Aquatics Club.