Older sister helps freshman diver succeed



Annabelle Herrle and her older sister Abbey dive alongside each other on the varsity Swim and Dive team.

Kenzie Hirt, Staff Writer

Athletes often feel nervous in their first competition, especially in individual sports like diving. Freshman diver, Annabelle Herrle, was no exception.

“I was very nervous. My legs were shaking like crazy, but when I finished, I realized I was nervous for no reason,” Herrle said of her first varsity swim meet. 

This school year is Herrle’s first year diving for Baldwin. She is accompanied on the diving team by her older sister, senior Abbey Herrle, who has been diving for three years and made WPIALs this year. 

Herrle said that having her sister by her side has helped her throughout the season and had a positive impact on their relationship. 

“Abbey and I have come closer doing diving together,” Herrle said, “We joke around while still getting stuff done, which makes diving more enjoyable.” 

Herrle helps her older sister improve, too. 

“She pushes me in the sense that I want to get better so that she can learn how to get better,” Herrle’s sister said.

Despite the fun at practices, meets can be nerve-wracking still because the Herrle sisters are the only divers for Baldwin.”

Despite the fun at practices, meets can be nerve-wracking still because the Herrle sisters are the only divers for Baldwin. She said there are pros and cons to the diving team being so small. 

“I think the more people doing it, the better we could learn from each other and the more support everyone would get,” Herrle said. 

Herrle said it is good having a small team, though, because the coaches are able to help the sisters more individually on specific skills. 

Diving Coach Kim Klinger said the two sisters are constantly encouraging and pushing each other.

“Abbey has been Annabelle’s biggest supporter. She leads by example and never hesitates to give encouragement, suggestions, praise and tough love at times. It’s been great to see the support they give each other,” Klinger said. 

Herrle’s teammates appreciate Annabelle’s dedication to the sport and are impressed with how well she has performed in her first year.

“It’s really nice to see our divers do so well together, since there was only one last year,” sophomore swimmer Gabi Moder said. 

Herrle has qualified WPIALs, but will not be competing this year because she does not yet know how to perform a move called a “reverse.” Herrle and her coach are confident she will make WPIALs and compete in years to come. 

“As to her future on the board. … she can only keep soaring upward,” Klinger said. “There is no doubt in my mind WPIALs are in her future.”