Reporting Shane Kitzman
Macalester junior Renee Jordan has crossed paths with black bears, she’s nearly biked into a moose, and even plans to ascend Mount McKinley in her father’s footsteps.
However, the Anchorage, Ala., native does have one fear.
At last year’s MIAC Championships, the diver had an off moment during a reverse one-and-a-half pike that left her right hand connecting with the board, shattering it.
Not only did it make doing simple things such as completing school work difficult for months, it instilled fear in Jordan’s typically fearlessness demeanor on the diving board.
Lucky for Jordan, that’s when golf coach Tomas Adalsteinsson, who has a Masters in sports psychology, took some time to help bring back her bravado.
“Getting over the mental part of it … it took a lot,” she said. “I didn’t do that dive again for months. He helped me visualize and conquer my fear every day. Diving is a sport where you can psyche yourself out. He got me back to a strong mental state.”
Fresh off dominating the MIAC Diving Championships, the All-American who owns every Macalester diving record (for both 1-meter and 3-meter), was just named the MIAC Diver of the Year.
She’ll soon be headed south to the NCAA Division III Championships March 20-23 in Shanadoah, Texas.
This is her second trip to the national scene – it would have been her third if it weren’t for that pesky injury last year.
Here are nine things to know about the team captain.
She’s a chemistry major who somehow also minors in philosophy
I think I’m the only one that I know that’s taking philosophy courses as a chemist.
She’s netted some solid research experience already
I’ve done research at the University of Milwaukee, studying toxicology. I looked at effects of endocrine disrupting chemicals on fathead minnows, trying to see if their reproduction or testosterone would be affected by imbalance in the environment.
I’m interested in how humans are affecting the environment and ways that we can change that.
Though she gets some campus recognition, she wishes her sport received more
People who I don’t know will congratulate me … to be recognized as a national-level diver is unique.
But it’s not a popular sport. We have maybe 20 people turn out to watch us at dual meets. People don’t come out and say “let’s watch swimming and diving.”
She traveled 3,000 miles for school because of one coach
I wanted to go to a strong academic school. And the (old) swimming coach Bob Pearson recruited me. He said it would be a good fit.
Compared to Alaskans, Minnesotans are …
Really passive aggressive. And I’m not used to it. It comes out when they’re driving especially.
Vertical Endeavors makes her feel at home
I love camping, hiking and rock climbing. Vertical Endeavors helps with the stress of school.
When talking diving she can’t stop singing the praises of diving coach Jake Dunn
I have insurmountable trust in him. I wouldn’t progress without Jake being there.
Gymnastics gave her the background to excel on the diving board
I stopped gymnastics when I was 12, but it’s very helpful. You can usually tell if someone’s been in gymnastics. Their toes are pointed and their lines are clean.
After finishing 12th in the 3-meter and 20th in the 1-meter back in 2011, she’s hoping to place at nationals this year
If I hit all my dives I’m one of the best. I’m going into the meet with the mindset of ‘I can do this.’ I want to see how well I can do.