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McGrath, Phelps, Armstrong set to participate in Speedo Top 40 event


October 23, 2008

Three water polo players with ties to the Arizona State University program have been selected to participate in the 2008 Speedo Top 4 Festival this weekend (October 24-16) at the Joint Forces Training Base in Los Alamitos, Calif., an event that features some of the top talent in the nation. Current Sun Devils Addison McGrath and Kelly Phelps, both of whom earned All-America honors in 2008, will participate in the event along with Betsey Armstrong, the ASU program's Director of Operations.

In it's sixth year, the Speedo Top 40 is used as an evaluation tool for the U.S. Women's National Team as it brings together 40 of the top athletes in the sport. The selected individuals are comprised of players from the 2008 U.S. Olympic Silver Medalist Team, other National Team Members, top collegiate players and outstanding high school players.

The 40 athletes were divided into four teams with 10 players each. McGrath will play for Team Shining Star, Phelps will play for Team Hot Lava and Armstrong will play for Team Jungle. Each team will play in four games, including two each on Saturday and Sunday. During the times the teams are not playing, a 16-team open tournament will be conducted for club teams, running from Friday through Sunday.

McGrath made history last season as she earned First Team All-America honors, becoming the first Sun Devil to garner first-team accolades while also becoming the first Sun Devil to earn All-America honors twice in a career (honorable mention in 2007). She tallied 81 goals, 42 assists and 123 points as a junior to lead the team in all three categories while also leading the MPSF in goals and ranking among the Top 10 nationally.

Phelps earned her first national honor as an Honorable Mention All-American last year as she scored 53 goals and added 18 assists for 71 points as a sophomore. She continued to improve her play throughout the season and helped the Sun Devils to a No. 6 national ranking during the season (the highest ranking in program history) while helping the team to a fifth-place finish in the MPSF regular season standings, the highest finish in team history.

Armstrong, a four-time All-American at Michigan, was the starting goalie for the Americans at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and helped the team to a Silver Medal. A former volunteer coach for the Sun Devils in 2006, Armstrong recently rejoined the program as its Director of Operations after accumulating several national and international honors while patrolling the cage for the U.S. Women's National Team in the FINA Super League and other tournaments.

The teams have not been assigned to game times yet, but times have been released. The first game for the Top 40 teams will be at 9:30 a.m. and 10:45 a.m. Saturday with the second game that day coming at 4:00 p.m. and 5:15 p.m. On Sunday, the first games will be at 9:00 a.m. and 10:15 a.m. with the final games of the event starting at 2:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. For more information on the event, as well as full team rosters, please visit U.S. Water Polo's home on the web, www.USAWaterPolo.org.