Hi, my name is Grace Hehr and I am a junior at Newman Catholic High School in Mason City, Iowa. I have swam on my high school swim team at Mason City High School for three years now, and I have swam for my club, Mason City Swim Club, since i was five years old. I love to be with my teammates and cheer them on, and it’s so fun for me to not only see myself but my teammates improve as well. Over the past four years or so, I’ve had some serious struggles with anxiety in many aspects in my life including swimming, which I have overcome and gone on to accomplish what I never thought I would be able to do. Around late middle school, I completely lost my love for swimming and seriously considered quitting, and I’m SO glad I didn’t! I was so unhappy with my times and the team environment at my club until I decided to try out high school swimming. After my freshman year, I managed to get a club state qualifying time in the 500 free, which was my first state time in over four years. After that, I started to get faster and got a bunch more qualifying times in most events! During my sophomore year, I qualified individually for high school state in the 100 back as well as the 500 free, and also participated in doing back in the 200 medley relay and the 400 free relay. After my sophomore year I started to hit a little plateau with my backstroke and 500 free, but I’ve noticed whenever I really start getting into my training, my times start to go down more. This past season, I qualified in the maximum amount of events in high school state for the second year in a row! This time, I qualified in the 100 back and 100 fly, as well as the 200 medley relay and 400 free relay. I even qualified for the state finals in the 100 back and ended up 15th! My Medley Relay ended up placing 8th overall and were a second off of our school record, which was so cool for us! My 400 Free relay placed 10th and all of us dropped time which was pretty cool as well! I think when I convince my self that I can overcome something, I can and will do it. In middle school, I never thought I’d attend a state meet again, and now I even made a state final. I think with a little physical training and mental training, I can be a great asset and hardworker to a collegiate team, as well as a team player.