Albuquerque Journal (Albuquerque, NM)

Moody Has Place in Olympic Water Polo History.(Sports)

Byline: Rick Wright Journal Staff Writer

Heather Moody scored The Goal.

Give Reed Barnitz The Assist, even if he was nowhere near the pool at the time.

Moody, a 1991 Manzano High School graduate, forever will be a historic figure in United States women's water polo. It was her goal against the Netherlands that clinched an Olympic medal for the United States at Sydney, sending the Americans into the gold-medal game against host Australia.

The United States lost that game 4-3 on a controversial last-second goal, settling unhappily at first but happily later for the silver.

Moody, 27, also scored the United States' first-ever point in women's Olympic water-polo competition: a six-on-five goal in the Americans' opening-match victory over the same Dutch team they later defeated in the semifinals. Until this year, only men's water polo was an Olympic sport.

Barnitz, a longtime Albuquerque swimming and water-polo coach, was some 8,600 miles from Sydney during the Olympics, watching on television. Without his contributions, however, neither of those goals would have been scored.

Not by Moody, anyway.

"I started playing water polo when I was 14," says Moody, who swam for Barnitz at Duke City Aquatics. "Reed had us play in the summer just to keep us in the water. …

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