After an illustrious high school aquatics career, “I will be playing (NCAA) Division I water polo,” said Santa Ynez senior Henry Allen.

He just had to make a decision first.

“It’s between UCLA and UC Santa Barbara,” Allen said. “I hope to make a decision soon.”

At press time, Allen had made his decision.

Allen had also been considering Princeton but now, he said, he's set on UCSB.

He was the Santa Ynez nominee for the 2020 Northern Santa Barbara County Athletic Round Table Male Scholar Athlete of the Year award. Allen carries a 4.87 GPA at Santa Ynez.

The NSBCART has given its scholarship awards during its annual awards dinner. The organization’s 2020 dinner was cancelled because of COVID-19, the coronavirus.

When it comes to whether or not his school of choice can start its 2020 fall semester on time, “Honestly it’s too early too tell, with how crazy it’s been, how things keep changing,” when it comes to COVID-19, said Allen.

“If I have to start later, maybe defer a year, honestly it’s too early to tell.”

With public pools in the region, casualties of COVID-19, closed, Allen has been making due the best he can when it comes to workouts.

“I’ve gotten into friends’ pools to work out,” Allen said. “It’s nothing to compare to (organized) workouts.

“I have been doing cardio, pull ups, that type of things.”

UCSB get a highly decorated water polo player in Allen.

The senior driver/attacker has been in the USA Water Polo Olympic Development Program. Allen made the national team in 2020, and the Coastal Zone team from 2016-19.

A four-year varsity starter for Santa Ynez, Allen was an All-League selection in two leagues, the Los Padres League in 2016 and 2017, and the Channel League in 2018 and 2019.

Santa Ynez joined the new-look Channel League in 2018 after most of the area sports programs moved to the CIF Central Section. Santa Ynez stayed in the Southern Section.

As a swimmer, Allen broke school records in the open 100 and 200 freestyles and was part of the school record-setting 200 and 400 freestyle relay teams.

Allen got a bit of initiation into the adult world when he and his fellow Investment Portfolio Challenge Club members at Santa Ynez simulated investing $100,000 in the stock market.

He made the most “money.”

“I just invested in safe stocks, Amazon, Apple, that type of thing,” said Allen.

Central Coast Classic Series: We look back at some the biggest games in the area's history

With a little extra time on our hands, we are taking a look into the past of prep sports on the Central Coast. Our sports staff has been going through our archives searching for photos and stories highlighting some of the most pivotal games area teams have played over the last two decades.

You can support the hard work of our local sports team by signing up for a News+ Membership

Senior Spotlight Series: Celebrating the area's top senior student-athletes

Our 'Senior Spotlight' series is aimed at highlighting senior student-athletes who have had their final year of high school disrupted by the coronavirus outbreak. The athletes featured here were their school's nominee for Athlete of the Year or Student Athlete of the Year for the Northern Santa Barbara County Athletic Round Table's end-of-year banquet that has been canceled due to the outbreak.


Sports Reporter

Kenny Cress, sportswriter for the Santa Maria Times since September of 2000. BA in political science from Cal Poly Pomona. BA in journalism from Cal State Northridge.

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