The Student Site of Castilleja School


The Student Site of Castilleja School


The Student Site of Castilleja School


Committed Gators: Sydney Lowell

Caitlyn Lee
Sydney Lowell ’24 is committed to play waterpolo at Stanford University.

Thank goodness the Castilleja admissions team admitted Sydney Lowell ’24 on that fateful day in 2017.

Thank goodness that for every goal she makes, it is a point for our school. Thank goodness that for every trick pass, it is a move that benefits our team. Thank goodness that for every shoulder she accidentally dislocates, it is the shoulder of an opponent.

Yes, Lowell dislocated someone’s shoulder in a game, and yes, it was one of the scariest moments teammate Ella Debenham ’24 had ever witnessed in water polo.

However, Lowell, a Division I Stanford University water polo commit, did not start out as the same fierce aquatic athlete we see today. As a child, Lowell played a multitude of sports, ranging from basketball to baseball to soccer, always staying active to “get that little kid energy out,” she said.

Her water polo journey did not start until she decided to try the sport in sixth grade at Castilleja. As to why she stuck with water polo in particular, Lowell pointed to both the challenge and fun of the game.

“It’s just a really fun and complex game,” Lowell said. “There’s a lot of different pieces to it. It’s meant to be the hardest game in the world. The fact that it was going to challenge me physically and mentally but that it also could still be fun was appealing.”

Before long, Lowell joined a club team and quickly racked up a rather impressive number of titles. As a senior, she is a current member of USA Water Polo Youth National Team, a gold medalist with USA Water Polo Youth National Team at PanAm Aquatics U17 Championships in 2023, a member of USA Water Polo Cadet Futures National Team in 2022, a Santa Clara Valley Athletic League MVP in 2022 and Most Valuable Field Player in 2021 and a USA Water Polo Junior Olympics All-Tournament Team Honorable Mention U18 Girls in 2023.

Just to name a few.

It goes without saying that Lowell is quite an accomplished athlete. As for those who wish to be Sydney Lowell when they grow up, she imparted some advice: “Go for it every single time,” she said. “As a younger player, I was kind of fearless and would just work as hard as I possibly could and just give it my all like it’s the last rep I’ll do every single time. I think you can make a lot of progress that way. You’re gonna make a lot of mistakes that way as well.”

Lowell also advised younger athletes to set and stick to a goal. “Once you have a goal in mind, fully commit to that and keep it in the back of your mind and kind of let that drive you,” she said.

Another staple of being Sydney Lowell? Her famous protein smoothie, a peanut butter, banana, protein powder and milk concoction.

Lowell’s driven mindset (and smoothies) has led her to achieve her dream: Playing water polo at Stanford. “We live so close to Stanford that going to Stanford has always been kind of a dream, not really a goal, because I thought it was kind of far-off,” she said.

Evidently, based on the aforementioned accolades, it turned out not to be too far-off. Lowell will be joining the community which she called “unmatched,” and said, “It’s an honor to be able to join that.”

However, Stanford is infamously close in proximity to Castilleja and, according to Google Maps, is precisely a three-minute hobble from Castilleja. “I wasn’t gunning to be so close to home, but I think that the other aspects of Stanford other than its location are very compelling, so I can be a little closer than maybe I would have liked,” she said.

Lowell added, “I think it’ll be nice for my parents to be able to come to my games.”

Indeed, it will be nice for Lowell’s parents, but standing next to them at games will be all of Lowell’s friends and teammates who will undoubtedly say, “thank goodness she is so close to home.”

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About the Contributor
Caitlyn Lee
Caitlyn Lee, Managing Editor
Caitlyn Lee '25 is a Managing Editor for Counterpoint. This year, Caitlyn is excited to uncover all of the different stories on campus, from quirky to inspiring, and she looks forward to collaborating with the staff to share them with the community. When she isn't writing, you can find her swimming, playing BuzzFeed quizzes or munching on Trader Joe's snacks.

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