Winnetka, Sports

Athlete of the Week: 10 questions with Eli Sternweiler, New Trier water polo

Eli Sternweiler is a senior goalie for the Trevians water polo team. Sternweiler was an All-State selection in 2021 and will continue playing water polo for University of the Pacific next season.

1. Do you have any pregame rituals or superstitions?

Yes. A bit of a ritual of mine is definitely listening to music on the bus to games. It’s important to maintain focus before you actually play — visualizing what I practice and visualizing winning. I’m a believer luck has a big influence in water polo.

2. Why is Pacific a good fit for you?

At the University of the Pacific I’ll be training at a pretty high level. I really wanted a school to continue training and studying, and the warm weather in California was a deciding factor. And the coaches are phenomenal there and have done a great job of helping me through the process. 

3. What is something about water polo you only understand if you play?

I most frequently asked question I get is ‘Are people standing?’ The answer is no. I love it because it is so difficult and different. That would be the biggest question I get. 

4. What is your favorite thing to do outside of the pool?

Hanging out with my teammates and eating — those things at the same time. My teammates are actually my best friends outside the pool as well, so I like to spend as much time with them as I can. 

5. What is your dream job?

Astronaut for sure. I think it’s so cool. I guess it’s similar to being underwater, the same feeling. You’re there just floating around. 

6. If you could play another sport, what would it be?

I’d either be a wrestler or do (mixed martial arts). Those are pretty similar in difficulty in comparison to water polo. There are actually a lot of similarities. I wrestled briefly when I was younger. 

7. What is your favorite TV show right now?

“Peaky Blinders” (Netflix). The characters are so cool. The main character is a bad ass. 

8. If you are in Walgreens with a couple bucks, what are you buying?

Anything chocolatey and an energy drink possibly. I love sugar. I burn a lot of calories, so I can intake a lot of food.

9. What is something people do not know about you?

I love being outdoors. As much time as I spend in the pool, I really like being outside, hiking and doing activities with friends and family. I love hiking. That’s another reason California seemed pretty cool (for college). The mountains are beautiful, and the landscape is pretty cool. 

10. What can this team accomplish this season?

Our goal is — for sure, 100 percent — winning the state championship. We have a really good opportunity this year. There are a lot of fantastic underclassmen that will help pave the way. There is competition in this state, but I think if we keep on track with hard work and dedication, it’s definitely an attainable goal

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joe coughlin
Joe Coughlin

Joe Coughlin is a co-founder and the editor in chief of The Record. He leads investigative reporting and reports on anything else needed. Joe has been recognized for his investigative reporting and sports reporting, feature writing and photojournalism. Follow Joe on Twitter @joec2319

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