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Coskinas is CdM's 'iron woman'

Daily Pilot High School Athlete of the Week

Senior center, a team captain, has stepped into leadership role for Sea Kings.

February 07, 2014|By Matt Szabo
  • Corona del Mar High senior Marina Coskinas is the Daily Pilot High School Athlete of the Week. (Kevin Chang/ Daily Pilot)
Corona del Mar High senior Marina Coskinas is the Daily… (Kevin Chang, Daily…)

Corona del Mar High senior Marina Coskinas is the only returning starter for one of the top girls' water polo programs in the country, a program that is coming off winning its first CIF Southern Section Division 1 title.

It's something that Coskinas doesn't take lightly.

There is the responsibility of being one of four senior team captains this year. There is the responsibility of scoring goals, much more than last year, when her primary offensive focus was often just to hold position at two meters.

But, if there's one thing that Coskinas has shown, it is that she can adapt.

In that regard, the Daily Pilot Athlete of the Week often hasn't had much of a choice. Though she was born in Long Beach, Coskinas moved to Greece when she was 5 with her parents, Vageli and Kim, and her younger brother Ari.

"My dad is from there, and his family was there, so he thought it would be a good experience for us," Marina Coskinas said.

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And it was. She enjoyed her life in the small coastal town of Palea Fokea. She sometimes hung out with twins Stephania and Ioanna Haralabidis, who immigrated to Newport Beach in the summer of 2012 and helped CdM win that Division 1 title before heading to USC.

"It's very different," Coskinas said of living in Greece. "There's not much diversity at all. I know, compared to the rest of America, Newport Beach doesn't have much diversity. Bit still, compared to Greece, it's very diverse. Also, the school's a lot different in Greece. There's like 14 different subjects for school. Here, it's like five classes and you're done."

Marina Coskinas still beat the Haralabidis sisters to Southern California by three years. Her family moved back in the summer of 2009, before she entered eighth grade.

Again, there wasn't much of a choice there. The economy in Greece crashed. Vageli, a doctor, had to support his family.

"It got really bad," Marina Coskinas said. "It's gotten worse. We went back this summer [to visit family]. On our usual route to get home, all the shops on the street were closed down. They had 'for sale' signs on them. It was really strange; it was like empty."

Marina adjusted well to life back in Orange County. She started playing water polo before entering high school, originally playing as a center defender. But two years ago, another tough circumstance arrived. She said one of her arteries that touched her kidneys pinched closed. Her blood pressure skyrocketed, and she started experiencing bad migraine headaches.

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