Summit Rugby halfback to play in New York tournament |

Summit Rugby halfback to play in New York tournament

SUMMIT COUNTY – Wendy daCosta Miranda, halfback for the Summit Girls Rugby Club, probably shouldn’t eat too much turkey this Thanksgiving.

Miranda, 16, is the youngest woman ever invited to compete at one of the most prestigious international rugby tournaments in the country.

The tournament, the New York Sevens, is the largest seven-player rugby tournament in America, and takes place Nov. 29 and 30 in New York.

“The team she’s playing for will be one of the favorites,” said Summit Rugby coach Karl Barth, who is also the new head coach for the Junior National Women’s Rugby Team. “There’s teams from Scotland, England, Argentina, New Zealand … the men’s games draw some huge teams from around the world and from all over the country. It’s some real talent.”

Miranda will be playing for Atlantis, a national invitational team that recruits top players from around the country, and occasionally from other nations. Miranda, a native of Argentina, will graduate early from Summit High in January. She joined the Summit Rugby Club last year and credits Barth for all that she knows about rugby.

“It’s Barth that let me know I was invited on this team – it’s always Barth,” Miranda said. “He taught me all that he knows, and I hope there’s more he has to teach me, because I have a lot more to learn. He came up to me to tell me about this tournament and said, “You want to go?’ I said, “Of course.'”

Miranda was surprised and elated when she learned about the invitation to join Atlantis.

“I freaked out at first, because I didn’t think I was ready,” she said. “I’m really nervous, because I know everyone will be really good. I’m so excited now. Hopefully it will help me get on the (U.S.) National Team.”

The Summit Girls Rugby Club, which won a state title last year, will kick off its 2003 season this spring. Miranda, who is 5-foot-3, has also played for the Eastern Rockies Rugby Football Union, the Western United Stated U-23 Team and is in the USA National U-19 pool.

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