Two-Time State Champ Herceg Helps Weiss Athletics Find Footing

Pflugerville Weiss has been a high school since August 2017, but is already experiencing athletic success. Sophomore Ana Herceg has led the charge so far, with her two UIL state championships in the 200-yard freestyle and back-to-back runner-up finishes in the 500-yard freestyle.

“I like to credit my success and confidence to my coaches, both in school and out, [as well as] my family and my teammates,” said Herceg. “I have had my coach for a long time, and he and my teammates have always been there to push me to my limits and past them.”

“My family has always been very supportive of what I do, and [is] always there to cheer me on or pick me up when I don’t feel or perform the best that I can,” she continued. “Being able to surround myself with people who are there to support me and push me [is] really the biggest factor in my success so far.”

Herceg won state titles as a freshman and sophomore, and was the first person to put Weiss’ name on a UIL state championship plaque.

“It’s crazy,” she said. “I have been to championship meets similar to state before, and I have been racing these girls at other meets well before state as well, but being able to compete at such a high level and to feel the support I had behind me from Weiss was a completely different experience.”

“All of that was amplified by the fact that I was helping put Weiss on the map,” she added. “I was helping show that we aren’t just some new school trying to gather its footing, but we are a force to be reckoned with.”

Herceg knows her school’s early success, whether it’s her’s or wrestler Micah Wiginton’s, is setting the tone for future Weiss athletics, so she takes her role seriously.

“Being in the first year, there were a lot of hurdles to jump through, as we tried to figure out how exactly that program was going to operate, and trying to test things out to see what works,” she said. “But, being able to go through all of that and still come out on top, I think I am able to show that we can be successful, no matter what comes our way, and that others shouldn’t have to look at these championships as unreachable dreams, but as goals that they can strive to achieve.”

When Herceg is not training or competing, she likes to draw, do calligraphy, be a referee for soccer, and inspire others.

“I love working with younger children and helping them learn their love of sports,” she said.

Herceg has two more high school swim seasons, but is already thinking about her post-graduation career. She’s setting up future opportunities by performing in the pool and reaching out to college coaches.

“Beyond high school, I would love to swim at a Division I college, and to use that to help me become an engineer one day, as well as to make it to the Olympics someday,” she said. “Hopefully, that happens before I leave high school, as I might have a chance of making the Croatian Olympic Team in 2020, due to dual citizenship.”

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