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Hersey Student Named District’s First All-American Water Polo Player

Hersey Student Named District’s First All-American Water Polo Player 

Published: 08/13/2021

Annie Lindgren, class of 2021, was recently named a second team All-American Water Polo Player by the National Interscholastic Swim Coaches Association. This is the first time a D214 student earned this award. She was co-captain of the John Hersey High School water polo team for the last two seasons and finished this most recent season with an 18-3 record. Megan Brownley, the Varsity Girls Water Polo Coach at Hersey, explains the significance of this achievement.

“Chicago water polo is not on the map. It’s all California, a little bit of Florida and Texas. It’s incredible. The fact that she was on the second team means that she’s in the very top percentage of the entire country in high school water polo,” she said.

Lindgren started competitively swimming at the age of 5 and learned to play water polo at the age of 10. Her father, the late Rob Lindgren, spent 30 years teaching and coaching water polo in D214. He passed down coaching duties to Annie’s current coach. The two share a strong relationship.

“Annie’s dad was one of my club coaches when I swam at high school,” said Brownley. “When I started at Hersey, I saw him in the mail room and he recognized me right away. I remember seeing his kids since they were little.”

Thanks to her early exposure to the sport, Lindgren was a starter on the Varsity Water Polo team for all four years of high school. Brownley says she was a standout right away. 

“She’s the best player I’ve ever coached and she’s the best player that’s ever been through District 214,” she said. “Coaches have been asking me for years when she’s going to graduate because they’re tired of having to play against Annie and figure out how to double and triple team Annie Lindgren.” 

On top of Lindgren’s individual success, this past school year Hersey’s water polo team was also Mid-Suburban League Conference Champions, Sectional Champions and placed 4th place in the state.

This fall, Lindgren will attend Oklahoma State University to study Management Information Systems.