It is easy to forget that athletes are people, too. Great athletes, more often than not, also have great personalities.
UC Davis senior swimmer Linda Hermann is one with a great personality.
The 2009-10 Big West Conference Champion from Solana Beach, Calif. sat down on a rainy day to talk with Aggie Sports Writer Ron Hooper about the upcoming Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Championships, her swimming career and her family.
The MPSF Championships are this week. How do you feel about the team’s chances of accomplishing its goals of winning?
I feel great. We are still feeding off of last year, and the team has a lot of energy going into the event. We all are just hoping that we have no regrets after everything is done. As a senior, this may be my last event besides the Senior Meet in March, so I am just focusing on giving everything I’ve got.
What do you think are some of the team’s keys to success for the MPSF Championships?
Something we have done throughout the season is push each other. Motivation to contribute to a team victory is very strong and I think it will be a factor, so the biggest thing is teamwork, both in and out of the pool.
If the team does well this weekend, it could be a big moment in UC Davis swimming and diving history. On a personal level, what has been your favorite moment as an Aggie?
Winning the Big West Championship with the men’s team last year was definitely a great moment. Every win feels great, especially when you know you did your part for the team.
You certainly have had a successful career at UC Davis. If you could go back to one moment in your past that you could do over or do differently, what would it be?
Honestly, nothing. I am so blessed to be here. It was such a great opportunity to swim here and my teammates have been like a second family to me and I will miss them. Besides, I feel like I have already accomplished a lot in my career, so although I would love to do well at the MPSF Championships, I am pretty happy with what I have done.
It sounds like you’ve had a great time as a member of this team. How do you feel about the future of the Aggies?
We have some very promising lower classmen and with our success this year, I have no doubt that we will be able to pull in a great class of recruits in the future. Barbara [Jahn] is a great coach, so I think the team’s future is in good hands.
Switching gears a little, rumor has it that you can speak German. Is this true?
Yes! My parents are both from Germany and moved here before I was born, so I was raised in the U.S. but my parents taught me both languages.
Did you play any other sports growing up in San Diego?
I played soccer for nine years and water polo for three years. My mom taught me how to swim in our pool at home and my older sister, Stephanie, swam competitively so I guess it was just a matter of time before I naturally followed suit.
It sounds like you were great athlete even at a young age. Did you have an athlete you looked up to?
When you get to a high enough level, every athlete deserves respect, especially at the professional level. I don’t have any one in particular, but I have a lot of respect for them all.
What are your plans after you graduate?
I will probably take some time off. My major is exercise biology, so when I am ready for it I would like to go to grad school and pursue a career in health.
RON HOOPER can be reached at email@example.com.