Breanna Herd: Just Keep Swimming

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Breanna Herd: Just Keep Swimming

Victoria Gong, Managing Editor

“I don’t know what I’d do without swimming,” Breanna Herd professed as she organized the lab stations in Room 211.

A senior and co-captain of the MSMS Blue Waves swim team, Herd qualified for the state meet this year and placed tenth in both of her individual events, the 100 yard breaststroke and 50 freestyle. She also swam on the MSMS girls’ relay team, a placed third in the final race. Last year, Herd was key member of the MSMS swim team, swimming state qualifying times in both of her individual events and leading the 200 medley relay and 200 free relay to place fifth and third, respectively.

Before coming to the Mississippi School for Mathematics and Science, Herd swam on the Starkville High School team, starting her eighth grade year. The process was rote, Herd described, even though the team dynamic was not conducive, but she persevered because swimming was simply a part of her.

“The [Starkville] team wasn’t really much of a team,” Herd explained. “We didn’t get along well. Being on the team made me think that I hated swimming, but then I realized it was just the environment I didn’t like.”

[Swimming] makes me feel better if I’m having a bad day.”

— Breanna Herd

Herd moved to Starkville, Mississippi, the summer before fifth grade. She previously lived in both Kansas and Missouri, where she was born. At first, “southern hospitality” was misleading and the lack of snow was disappointing, to Herd’s displeasure:

“I’d heard Mississippi was the hospitality state, but when I came here and went to [Starkville High School], pretty quickly it was apparent that that’s not how it was.”

Swimming became Herd’s outlet, but it was also the source of that “in-hospitality.”

“My mom kept asking me, ‘Do you really want to quit?’” Herd recounted. “And I would always come back… [Swimming] makes me feel better if I’m having a bad day.”

Coming to MSMS, though, allowed Herd to find a supportive team and continue her passion. Originally, Herd planned on not joining the MSMS swim team, but when she finally decided to her junior year, Herd explained, the swim team felt like a real team. For Herd, who started racing when she was seven or eight, swimming was too important to give up, and she’s looking to make a spot for it in her future plans.

“Simmons University in Boston has a nursing program I’m really interested in,” Herd shared with a grin. “They told me if I get in, then there will be a spot on the swim team for me.”

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