BY MEGAN KEIM
A lyric from the rapper Atmosphere goes, “If I could, I would keep this feeling in a plastic jar.” Is there one you would keep? There is for Kelsey Jandro, a senior diver at MSUM.
Some seniors feel this way at the end of their college years as they look back on their memories. For some, they’d keep their best grade, their first internship or their first relationship.
But for Jandro, she would keep the feeling she had when she won the 1-meter diving competition this season at the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference championship. After overcoming an allergy to chlorine and a problem with her knee, Jandro continued swimming for 10 years and made many memories. Another favorite memory of her diving career has been “winning conference and meeting (her) best friend, Shayna Dugger.”
The girls have grown “super close since freshmen year,” according to Dugger. In Jandro’s years of diving, friendship with her teammates has always been important. Dugger told a story of their first year after seeing that Jandro qualified for Nationals. She was so excited that she “jumped into the pool and almost got them both disqualified.” They did not get disqualified, but there is now a rule discouraging it.
Growing with teammates is one thing, but growing as a team of friends is another. Jandro and Dugger both “have school records now, so (their) names are both on the record board at the pool.” They keep growing individually as well.
During John Schmidt’s first year coaching diving at MSUM, he has witnessed the team and its individuals evolve. He explains that over the season Jandro has “gotten more confident in herself, and it has been very noticeable.” She has gotten better physically too, as she has now won diver of the week four times, though that’s only one of her many accomplishments.
She has accomplished many things in her diving career. Winning her 1-meter event at the NSIC championship is what Jandro would describe as her greatest accomplishment. She explains it as an “out of body experience,” and coach Schmidt describes it as the “highlight of his coaching career.” Schmidt has previously coached at high school level but had never experienced such a phenomenal meet before as coach.
Going into the meet Jandro was “in the zone” according to Dugger and Schmidt. Though Jandro says she doesn’t remember some of the meet because of all of the adrenaline, she remembers being severely focused and ready for the biggest meet of the season up to date. The skills she has learned in diving, such as learning to focus and be a leader of the team, will be skills she keeps going into her life after college.
Jandro hopes to be a sports nutritionist for a college setting after graduation. She plans to go to graduate school, and then use the skills she has learned as an athlete in her professional career.
After she finishes her undergrad, she said she “will miss (diving) a lot,” and that life without practice and meets will be “normal and weird.” Nonetheless, she will keep her friends from the team and her sports knowledge.
Looking forward to the end of the season, Jandro is excited for the future. She recalled her favorite quote, “you can’t control the uncontrollable,” and applied it to her life as she did before every meet. Not knowing what is coming next is something Jandro is familiar with and something she will use to her advantage for years to come.