Orange Lutheran junior Anna Pearson is no stranger to the pool, as she comes from a family of swimmers. Her mom swam at Brown University, and her sister, Samantha, is a swimmer at Stanford University. But Pearson has carved out her own path as a water polo player, a sport she began as a 10-year old.
“For me…I love being a part of a team and working together,” says Pearson. “I think that’s definitely the best part.”
As a center and utility player for the Lancers, Pearson is always prepared to help her teammates in any way she can. Her efforts have not gone unnoticed, as her standout sophomore season resulted in a spot on the Orange County Register’s All-County girls water polo team for the 2019-2020 season, as well as being named 2020 Trinity League MVP.
“Anna is a motivated athlete,” says OLu girls water polo head coach, Ed Carrera. “She works hard in and out of the pool. It’s hard to believe she is only a junior. The sky is the limit for her.”
Staying motivated and keeping up on conditioning has been a challenge during the pandemic, as access to pools during the spring months was limited. Pearson and her sister spent weeks training together, pushing each other both physically and mentally.
As a captain on the varsity squad, Pearson has applied that same mindset to leading her teammates through this uncertain time. With their 2021 high school season still on hold, lifting one another up and holding each other accountable have been the focus.
“Staying in touch with my teammates over Zoom helped us all get through it,” says the 17-year old. “Definitely checking in with the girls and making sure they’re all okay, really pushing them to work hard and be better so we can all be better as a team.”
Camaraderie and a place to stand firm in her faith are experiences that being an OLu athlete have brought to Pearson during her athletic journey.
“We always pray before games, so that is pretty special to me,” says Pearson. “Just remembering that he’s always here and that he’ll help me get through the challenges. Being able to represent where we come from is definitely very special for me.”
Despite the not knowing what lies ahead for her in the sport, Pearson still has her eye on helping lead the Lancers to a CIF championship before she graduates, an accomplishment that would accompany the team’s 2019 CIF Division 1 California Regional State championship she helped win as a freshman.
Pearson’s goal after high school is to continue to play water polo for a Division 1 school, and she has a strong interest in teaching children with disabilities. Watching her sister model commitment and a strong work ethic have been influential for her as a sibling and an athlete.
“My older sister is definitely my biggest role model,” says Pearson of her sister, Samantha. “She is one of the hardest working people I’ve ever met. I’ve definitely looked up to her my whole life. She set the bar very high.”
Click HERE to watch Anna in "The Walk".