In competitive diving, a dive from the highest platform to the water is 10 meters (33 feet) but for Clinton’s Jacob Reasor the goal is much farther.
His goal is a spot on the U.S. Olympic diving team, be it 2020 or 2024.
Reasor took fourth in the state competition this spring. In the region meet earlier this year, he placed third in the three-meter springboard and in the platform event.
Reasor has been diving competitively for about four years. He started the sport after his mother suggested it.
“I tried it and I’ve been doing it ever since,” Reasor said.
He trains at the Allan Jones Aquatic Center on the campus of the University of Tennessee in Knoxville.
Strength training is a major part of his daily workout regimen.
“Springboard diving takes a lot of abdominal muscle to work and flip off of the board. Platform diving requires a bit more leg and shoulder strength. The shoulder strength is needed when you hit the water to make the entry very clean,” said Reasor.
However, physical fitness is only part of the preparation.
“It takes a lot of mental strength to be able to do the dives…they can be very scary. It takes a lot of mental courage to complete the dive,” he said.
Reasor estimates he does anywhere from 50-70 dives per practice.
For the most part, diving is a year-round sport and Reasor will be attending competitions throughout the summer. Though he is part of the Clinton swim and diving team, the rising freshman is home-schooled — a factor that allows him flexibility in his training schedule.
While college is on his radar, Reasor admits that he hasn’t put a great deal of thought into which college he wants to attend as he is getting ready to start his sophomore year of high school.
Ideally, he wants to represent the United States in Tokyo in 2020.
“That’s what I’m looking forward to right now, but if I don’t make it, 2024 will definitely be my goal,” Reasor said.