Alexandra Guerra is the Gulliver Prep Silver Knight nominee in Athletics.
Guerra’s sport is water polo, a sport that Gulliver teams excel in, often going to the state championships and winning. Last year they were the state runner-up and the year before they were state champs. Guerra was there – she’s been a starter since her freshman year.
“I’ve been playing water polo for eight years,” she says.
In those eight years, she has been named First Team All Dade twice so far and last year she was named second team All American.
She has also been on the Gulliver swim team, swimming the 200 free and the 500 free. This year, however, she went to Spain instead to play for the Puerto Rican Water Polo team in the world championships for 19 and under.
Initially, Guerra trained with the USA team, but it became too expensive, so she stopped.
“Then the Puerto Rican coach asked me to play, so my sister (Andrea Guerra) and I went to play. My other sister (Anna Gabriela Guerra) played as well.”
Guerra, her sister Andrea and two brothers are quads. Before they were born, her parents believed they were having triplets.
“They missed my brother,” Guerra says. “There were three stacked and they couldn’t see the fourth one. They thought they were having two girls and a boy. They found out when my mom was giving birth. The guy that was sewing my mom up found me and told my dad that there was a fourth one.”
She also has two older sisters. All of the quads play water polo. They got into the game because one of her brothers had very bad asthma as a child.
“He almost died. When they saved him, they said swimming would be good,” she says. “We all started swimming with Carol Vaughn. She told our mom we should try water polo. It helped with his lungs a lot.”
Now, Guerra plays club water polo for the Riptides and she volunteers as a swimming instructor.
“I help at the Riptide Aquatic program,” she says. “It’s the one at Cutler Ridge. I teach kids to swim and play water polo.”
She enjoys teaching the children, although it takes a lot of work. She works with kids age three to six.
“It can get a little frustrating,” Guerra says. “Its fun once you get to know all of them. You have to have a lot of patience. At first I couldn’t do it and I needed a lot of help. But now I can do it.”
When teaching the swimmers, she evaluates them to see if they might be suitable for water polo.
“There are some kids instead of doing the breast stroke they start treading and the feisty ones, we also take,” she says.
She volunteers with the program because she was helped by the older kids when she started out.
“So when I got old enough I started teaching the younger kids,” she says.
The program runs Monday-Friday with swim meets on Saturdays.
At school, Guerra is a member of the National Honor Society and the Spanish National Honor Society.
In college, she is considering majoring in criminology.
“I’m going to start with criminology and see if I like it,” she says.
But she also plans to try a variety of courses to see what she likes best. She’s interested in criminology because of the cases she sees on television and she’s heard about cases at school which intrigues her.
She hopes to play water polo in college.
By Linda Rodriguez Bernfeld