This week's Eagle of the Week is Jordan Lesser of the Eastern Michigan men's swim and dive team. He set a school record diving platform with 395.85 points. The redshirt junior from Bethesda, Md. transferred to Eastern from the University of Minnesota prior to this season.
Q: How different is it to dive platform? I know EMU doesn't typically dive that way.
A: Platform diving is definitely a game of its own. Like springboard, you're doing multiple somersaults and twists in the air, but you're starting from a 33-foot high block of concrete which adds to the fear like no other. It's an adrenaline rush, and that's the part of the sport that I enjoy the most.
Q: Is diving at EMU different than it is in the Big 10 competitively?
A: Diving in the Big 10 Conference definitely had its differences. Competing against top caliber programs like Indiana and Purdue made for a deeper conference, but it'll be equally competitive when we go to the NCAA qualification meet towards the end of the season. The great thing about being a part of Eastern's dive team is that we have all the resources we need to stay competitive with some of the best divers in the nation. Our belt pulling systems and dry-land facility are some of the things that most D1 programs would only dream of having, so I feel very fortunate.
Q: What are your thoughts of the season so far?
A: The season is going pretty well so far, considering it's still early in the competitive year. We spent a ton of time at the beginning focusing on fundamentals, and it makes spinning our competition dives a lot less challenging as we start to get them back. It's always more difficult at this time because we are doing heavy lifting several times a week, but it will all pay off as the championship season rolls around. Q: Are there any other swimmers/divers on the team who really stand out to you at this point?
A: On the swim team, I'm really impressed with athletes like Andrew Henry, who also received the MAC swimmer of the week honor and then the scholar athlete of the week award as well. I'm proud to see athletes prioritizing not only their sport, but their academics. On the diving team, my teammate Daniel Gironza has made huge improvements so far, and has really impacted the way I train and stay motivated. He's more than obsessed with the sport, and if he's not training two practices a day, he's watching and analyzing videos of world class divers.
Q: What interested you in diving in the first place?
A: I actually didn't develop an interest for the sport until my freshman year of high school. Before that, I was an on and off competitive gymnast, and I did a lot of snowboarding. When I first tried it out, I noticed the easy transition from the sports I was doing before, and I really fell in love with it quickly.
Q: The holidays are coming up - what is the first thing you're going to do when you get home?
Q: What do you like to do outside the pool?
A: Right now, my favorite activity to do outside of training is sleep, and I think most student-athletes could agree with that. I'm a huge enthusiast for the outdoors, so any opportunity I can get to travel to some of the National Parks is a privilege.
Q: You're a redshirt junior - what's next after EMU?