Standing Out

Swimmer Dora Seggelke & Wrestler Hamzah Alsaudi Win Post Cup as Pali High’s Outstanding Senior Athletes

By STEVE GALLUZZO | Sports Editor

Pride and perseverance are the qualities that may best define the achievements of Hamzah Alsaudi and Dora Seggelke,  winners of this year’s Post Cup Awards as the outstanding senior athletes at Palisades High.

They overcame numerous setbacks to accomplish personal goals but in the end it was all about the impact they made on their respective programs and the respect they ultimately earned from their teammates and coaches.

Alsaudi was a master on the mat, recording four pins in four matches—all in the first period —on his way to winning his third straight City 195-pound wrestling title in February to become the Dolphins’ first three-time section champion. He made more history a week later in Bakersfield, taking fifth to become the first Pali High wrestler to medal at the state meet.

“Winning the Post Cup means that the hard work and time I’ve put in is being recognized,” said Alsaudi, who was honored along with his co-winner at Pali High’s Senior Awards Banquet last Monday in Mercer Hall. “Kids should have fun through the struggle and enjoy the hardships this sport puts you through. Wrestling isn’t easy, but if you enjoy it you’re going to find success with it and you’ll find it very rewarding.”

Alsaudi lives in Santa Monica but grew up in Amman, Jordan. His sisters Yasra and Zubaidah attend Pali High and his brother Mohammed goes to Paul Revere. He will attend Santa Monica College in the fall and admires Aldo Juliano, his coach at Pali High.

Seggelke’s unwavering commitment to her team was never more evident than at the City swim finals earlier this month when she competed despite a broken wrist, captaining the Dolphins to their ninth straight girls title.   

“My advice for anyone who wants to get into swimming? Never give up! You may be staring at a black line for hours at a time but it’s what pushes you to go faster. You start off at one end of the line and attempt to get to the other end as fast as you can, each day shedding more time off.”

Before Pali High, the Bel Air resident went to Roscomzre Road Elementary and Paul Revere. She has an older sister at USC and she will head to UC Santa Barbara.                           

“I almost decided on the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. Choosing between the two schools was difficult but I chose UCSB for my major, its proximity to home and, of course, the weather. In the future I hope to become a doctor in our armed forces.”