Wana‘ao Watson Eldridge finished her Punahou career as decorated as any female athlete of her day – 12 varsity letters in three sports. She was part of 10 state championship teams in tennis, cross country and track.
It was a career that almost didn’t happen, thanks in large part to her stellar tennis game. The big question was: “Is it going to be the (professional) circuit or is it going to be school? We decided that an education was more important than going for the tour,” Eldridge says today.
She credits former Punahou President Dr. John Fox with keeping her on track in athletics and academics. Fox became a mentor after watching a particularly grueling match from the lanai at Dillingham Courts, which was indicative of the support she felt from faculty and coaches. “The match lasted three hours and forty minutes,” she recalls, “and this man that I didn’t even know sat on the lanai the whole time watching and talking to my parents. I was just floored.”