By: Mason Nesbitt, Sports Information Director
When it comes to racing, Anna Herrin does not need a GPS.
Her focus during the backstroke is to propel herself from one end of the pool to other as swiftly as possible, and then to dart back again the same way she came. It goes without saying: There are no right or left turns in swimming.
Herrin’s path to becoming a Master’s University swimmer, however, was far more circuitous.
She stopped swimming after elementary school, chose to pursue competitive horseback riding and mountain biking in high school, and didn’t return to the pool until after she enrolled at a Los Angeles-area community college.
Now, the junior transfer will be an important member of the Mustangs’ swim program as it enters Year 3.
“I’m extremely grateful that I got to swim at Pasadena City College and that Coach (Terry) Stoddard gave me the opportunity there,” Herrin said. “Likewise, I’m extremely excited to swim at Master’s, and I can’t wait to see what God has in store for me this upcoming season.”
Herrin will provide a veteran presence for the Mustangs after two years swimming at Pasadena City. She dramatically dropped her times as a Lancer and also competed on the school’s water polo team.
During that time, Master’s sent eight relays, three individuals and a diver to NAIA nationals and generally established itself as an up-and-coming program. Herrin is expected to help the team maintain that momentum.
“Anna is going to bring a lot of experience and depth to the squad,” said Master’s head coach Byron Davis. “She’s a hard worker and she’s dedicated”
A college swim career wasn’t always Herrin’s plan.
After two years in the pool, she stopped swimming at age 9 in order to spend more time with her family and to focus on horseback riding.
In high school, Herrin continued riding horses and added mountain bikes to the mix as part of the team at Clark Magnet High School in La Crescenta. After arriving at nearby Pasadena City College, she met someone on the swim team and casually mentioned she wouldn’t mind taking a swim class to get back in the pool. Her new friend invited her to talk to the coach.
“When I got to the pool, I met coach Stoddard and I mentioned that I used to swim several years ago,” she said. “He asked if I would like to join the swim team. He asked me that question even though he had never seen me swim and I hadn’t been in the water in 10 years.”
Herrin didn’t take long to answer.
“I was shocked, but very excited,” she said. “So I quickly said yes.”
Herrin said the workouts were harder that season than any she’d gone through in high school. The results were noticeable.
“When I started at PCC, it took me two minutes to do a 50,” she said. “Now it takes me about 30 seconds.”
Herrin made a number of strong friendships on the team and decided to also join the school’s water polo squad.
But as much as she was enjoying herself, Herrin kept coming back to one question: What would it be like to swim for a Christian team?
This fall, she’ll find out.
Interested in swimming or diving for Master’s? Fill out this recruit form.