Woods soaks it all in

CdM senior, one of eight honored on senior day, has worked hard in and out of pool.

February 11, 2011|By Matt Szabo,
(Matt Szabo / Daily…)

CORONA DEL MAR — Senior day for the Corona del Mar High girls' water polo team was special.

The Sea Kings started six seniors in the field Friday in their 11-7 nonleague victory over Long Beach Wilson. Tori Gabert, Devon Greenlee, Lauren Marks, Yoko Morita, Maddie Schwartz and Alanna Woods were in the water as the game began. Alyssa Hornby and goalie Anna Venturini are also seniors on the team.

Marks sang the national anthem before the game. Some of the seniors, like her, Greenlee and Schwartz, have logged plenty of minutes this regular season for CdM.

Woods was just happy to make her first varsity start. She is a hard worker, not only for the Sea Kings but in the countless hours of her time she dedicates to volunteer work.

"She never uses anything as a crutch," CdM Coach Sam Bailey said.

Woods also works hard in the classroom, but there she doesn't really have a choice.


Alanna Woods is dyslexic.

She had never been a very good test taker. In elementary school, teachers thought she would just always have bad test days, because she was obviously bright. But then in third grade Woods learned she was dyslexic.

"It can be really overwhelming," she said. "I just didn't learn quite as easily as other kids. I'd compensate by just taking a long time. A lot of times, I'd have to reteach myself things."

In school, it still takes her around twice as long as other kids to do her homework. She didn't pass her first Advanced Placement test in world history her sophomore year, which she said was "the worst feeling in the world."

Woods didn't have enough time on the essays. So she applied for extra time, and last year she passed all three of her AP classes. She's in three more AP classes this year and has a 4.0 weighted grade-point average.

"I'm dyslexic," said Woods, one of two dyslexic girls on the Sea Kings along with junior Chloe Havercroft. "Just the fact that I'm taking AP classes is a huge step. I do struggle a little bit more with things, but it's nothing that I can't overcome."

She's at least as good of a person as she is a water polo player. She's done a lot of volunteer work over the years and been in Girl Scouts since first grade. Woods worked at the Enviromental Nature Center last summer and received her Girl Scouts gold award, the highest award in the organization. She made a webpage for the ENC about going green.

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