Club Water Polo at Northwestern recently won their Winter Classic tournament! With cuties like Harry, make sure not to miss the next one (;
Name: Harry Pollack
Major: Math and History
Hometown: Berkeley, CA
What is it like to be on Club Water Polo?
Club Water Polo is great. We have our big ten season in the fall, so during the fall we have four practices a week and three tournaments on three separate weekends. I love practice during the week because it is consistent exercise that is fun, relaxing, and stress relieving. Also, the tournaments are super fun because we get away from campus and visit schools that we probably wouldn’t go to otherwise. Seeing the rest of the Midwest has been really interesting and it’s always really fun because my teammates are great.
How did it feel to win Winter Classic?
We have Winter Classic every year and we invite teams from the local Chicago area and some teams from the big ten conference we play in. It’s a laid back tournament and we went 4-0 this year, which was awesome. This was the first time we’ve won the tournament since I’ve been a member, so it was super exciting. It was also really great to see everyone in the stands. When we’re on the road, we consistently have absolutely no fan section. All the other teams in the Big Ten are public schools, so their parents will come. It was great to feel the energy from the crowd and see some familiar faces. I think it really made a difference because we played really well and it showed everyone a good time. It was especially awesome because our one senior and captain, Max, has put so much effort into this season because he’s been both the captain and president, which is a lot of work. He cares about the team so much, so we were happy when we could bring one home for him.
How did you first get into water polo?
I got into it just because I wanted to try it out. I played baseball in high school, but that’s a spring sport, so I wanted to do a fall sport. I didn’t know that many kids because I went to a huge public school, so I wanted to do some sport in the fall to meet people and have something to do after school. I had heard from a friend about Water Polo and saw it on the Olympics. I just thought, “well, I can throw a ball and I can kinda swim” so I went to the first practice. The swimming at first was a lot but when we put in the goals, it was so much fun and I ended up doing it it all four years. Junior year I started and senior year I was captain of the team. One of my criteria for picking a school was that they had a Club Water Polo team, so I was super happy when I found out Northwestern had one.
What’s your favorite part of being in the club?
It’s just another group of people on campus who have similar interests to me and who I can go relax with and spend time with. We are all there for the same reason, because we like sports and water polo. It’s nice to have a group like that outside of classes, friends, and fraternities. No one takes it too seriously, so we are all there to just have fun. We just go out and get into trouble.
What’s your take on speedos?
When I first starting playing in High School, I didn’t know that everyone wore them, so I wore knee length tight swim trunks. I quickly figured out that while they look funny, they’re actually really practical. Under the water, the ref can’t see anything. So, if you have a lot of swimsuit material to grab onto, people will take advantage of that and use it to pull you down. It’s just a disadvantage to wear a lot of material. When I first dove in wearing a speedo, I was like “wow, it feels like I’m naked”, because you pretty much are, but it’s something you get used to. And again, in the sun, you just get everything tan, which is great. Plus, speedo tan lines are pretty hilarious.
So many speedos…
What’s one thing most people don’t know about you?
I don’t think a lot of people know I’m Jewish. I had a bar mitzvah and everything…it was great. Seventh grade was awesome; it was a party every weekend.
What do you like to do in your free time?
I play IM sports; I was on three of four IM teams this quarter. I just really like playing and watching sports. I also spend a lot of time just talking and hanging out with the guys in my fraternity, and relaxing in the house. I also work at Mathnasium, which is a math-tutoring center. That takes up some of my free time too because I tutor kids from first grade all the way through tenth grade. I’ve been a camp counselor the past five summers, and I really enjoy working with kids, so doing this during the school year is really relaxing and reminds me of summers and being back home.
What are you most looking forward to Spring Quarter?
Clearly the weather, but also the water polo team goes to a tournament in Tennessee. We drive down and it’s just sunny and warm down there, so we play water polo outside, which some of the guys who grew up in Chicago have never done before. I used to play outside, so it’s nice to be in the sun again, getting some tan lines and relaxing. Also, going out to Tennessee is great. They have an incredible bar scene, miles above Evanston. The south is just fun and really different. I’m glad I don’t go to school there but it’s always nice to visit.
What was the first date you ever went on?
In seventh grade, I had a crush on this girl. So, naturally, I AOL instant messaged her and asked if she wanted to go to a movie with me. Her mom drove her to my house and my mom drove us to the theatre and we saw the Bee Movie. It was especially romantic because I was too scared to put my arm around her. We shared some popcorn, but I never got that kiss in. That really set the stage for my awkward dating career.