Paola Arredondo poised for exciting finish to career at Summit High School

Paola Arredondo cradles possession down the sideline during Summit's victory at their home Summit 7s tournament Saturday, Sept. 11, at Tiger Stadium in Breckenridge.
John Hanson/For the Summit Daily News

If you pay attention to the high school sports action at Summit High School, then the name Paola Arredondo is familiar.

The Summit senior is an all-around athlete who plays rugby in the fall, basketball in the winter and soccer in the spring. Beyond being a member of three sports teams at Summit, Arredondo serves as one of the main leaders for the teams on and off the field and court. 

Arredondo has lived in Summit County for her entire life, growing up in Summit with sports being a big part of her life from an early age. 

Arredondo says she has played soccer and basketball since third grade, and when she reached high school, she was introduced to the sport of rugby through her cousin.

“My cousin had a connection with a player who had just graduated from high school and played rugby,” Arredondo said. “She told me to play, and I did not even know what the sport was. I went a week after tryouts. My first game for the Summit rugby team was for the gold team, so I guess I made a good entrance to the team.” 

Since being introduced to the sport, Arredondo has helped the Summit Tigers girls rugby team keep its state championship streak alive. Arredondo has been a part of three, rugby state champion teams and is hoping to end her senior year with the program’s 15th straight state title.

Playing three sports is not typical, but over the last few years athletes like Arredondo, Jack Schierholz and Kelley Duffy have made it the status quo for athletes that attend Summit.

Summit High School’s Paola Arredondo takes the ball up the court during the third quarter of the varsity girl’s basketball game against Basalt on Thursday, Feb. 10, at Summit High School in Breckenridge.
Jason Connolly/For the Summit Daily News

“I have grown up balancing school, outside activities and sports,” Arredondo said of playing multiple sports. “It’s been something that is a part of my identity and something that I have learned to balance. During my first two years of high school, I couldn’t really decide what sport I liked more, so I just played all of them.”

To this day, Arredondo still struggles to decide what sport she likes the most. The majority of the time, Arredondo says her decision is swayed by whatever sport is in season — so right now that means rugby.

Arredondo built a deeper connection with the sport after breaking her hand during basketball season her sophomore year of high school. 

“I broke my hand and learned a lot by myself and grew as a person,” Arredondo said. “I found a deeper connection to rugby. It has opened so many opportunities for me, so many places for me to travel, and it is just the most fun.”

With senior year now underway, Arredondo is focused on chasing a list of goals she wants to achieve before she sends her graduation cap into the thin Summit County air at the end of the school year. 

Arredondo wants to leave a lasting legacy at Summit High School by leading the rugby team to a 15th straight state championship, a win in the Pink 7’s rugby tournament in Utah, a sweet 16 appearance for the girls basketball team and a playoff berth for the girls soccer team. 

Paola Arredondo runs down the field during the Tigers game against the Battle Mountain Huskies on Thursday, April 28. The Tigers lost to the Huskies in double overtime, 2-1.
Cody Jones/Summit Daily News

Arredondo thanks her parents for all her success in athletics and academics. Outside of sports Arredondo has averaged above a 3.5 grade point average the last three years and also is involved with several clubs including the National Art Honor Society, National Spanish Society, Sources of Strength and Summit Health Leaders. 

With only a few months left before graduating this spring, Arredondo hopes to make more memories with her teammates. 

Some of Arredondo’s favorite memories over the last three years include the 2022 spring soccer season, the Summit girls basketball playoff run last winter and sharing her Hispanic heritage through Latin dishes, desserts, dances and music with the Summit rugby team.  

Arredondo currently has no plans for college but has a solid list of potential schools she is interested in attending.

“We have not narrowed it down quite yet,” Arredondo said. “I believe that I can go somewhere big and go out of state. My goal is to go somewhere East, somewhere where rugby is big.”

Arredondo and the rest of the girls rugby team will host East High School on Wednesday, Sept. 28 for the team’s homecoming game. The game is scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. 

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