Contrary to where he is now, junior Barrett Heritage used to hate swimming. He was introduced to the sport at 10 years old when his mother encouraged him to join a summer team in Maryland. His coach in Maryland was the one who ultimately changed his mindset on the sport, and began his competitive swimming career.
Before he started swimming, Heritage had dabbled in many different sports such as soccer, baseball, and flag football. However, he said he never felt as though he had the talent to play long-term.
“It’s simply because swimming is the first water sport I’ve played, I think I might not be that good on land when it comes to athletics,” Heritage said.
Currently, Heritage swims for the Mountain View High School team as well as at the Alto Swim Club, and works as an assistant coach for the Mountain View team.
“Last year I would go from Mountain View practice to my club team, but now as an assistant coach I’m playing more of an out-of-the-water role,” Heritage said.
Despite his large commitment with his club team, Heritage said that he believes that high school swimming is a good place to create the foundation for a competitive swimming career.
“I always tell new people at our school, or just people that express their interest in joining the swim team, that it’s a super tight knit group and we have a lot of camaraderie. I think we’re a pretty inclusive group,” Heritage said.
Michael Andrew is Heritage’s biggest role model in the swimming world. As a professional swimmer who trained in his backyard and went pro at age 13, Heritage admires his discipline and success.
“I definitely admire the drive, that all pro swimmers have to just be able to keep doing it over and over without stopping,” Heritage said.