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The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

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Undefeated freshman sets the bar for future of SBCC diving

Ken Sciallo
Courtesy art of Diver Gina Jacobson.

Freshman diver Gina Jacobson currently stands undefeated in Western State Conference diving meets, setting the pace for the first diving team at City College.

Jacobson and her teammate Ashley Dettmann practice at San Marcos and Santa Barbara High Schools under head dive coach Patricia Salvatore. There, they take turns plunging into the water working on improving and learning new dives.

“When we do practice and compete together, it’s always motivating to have a teammate who’s so good at what she does and is always willing to give me advice and pointers when I ask,” Dettmann said.

The freshman from Madison, Wisconsin is 6-0 in the Western State Conference after sweeping the 1-meter and 3-meter diving events at three conference meets.

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“For WSC, I’ve been doing pretty well at those meets,” Jacobson said. “There’s just a couple other dual meets that we’ve had where I’ve had one main competitor and usually I’ll get first on 1-meter and she’ll get first in 3-meter.

“Around the corner I’d like to make it so I get first on both so I’m trying to learn a couple new dives.”

Jacobson’s alleged rival is Alejandra Gomez from Cypress College in Cypress, Calif. Gomez beat Jacobson in the 3-meter at the Mt. Sac Invitational and Cuesta Invitational meets.

“[Jacobson’s] starting to really hit her stride on the 3-meter board, so I think she’s going to do much better at our next event in the 3-meter,” Salvatore said.

Jacobson is from Madison, Wisconsin and recently moved to Santa Barbara to attend City College.

She said she’s been involved in athletics most of her life. She was a swimmer growing up, played soccer until she tore her ACL and competed in multiple events for track and field. Jacobson has been diving for approximately eight years.

Along with vital help and guidance from her coaches, her confidence and work ethic have gotten her to where she is now. Jacobson gives credit to herself and to the coaches she’s had who have taught her the skills of diving.

“I don’t really have to push her, it’s more encouragement, so that part I really enjoy because she actually makes me be a better coach,” Salvatore said. “Not that it’s a challenge, but it encourages me to stretch myself also as a coach because she wants to stretch. She wants to be her very best.”

Jacobson says she wants to transfer after City College but isn’t sure if she will continue diving.

“I probably would not dive professionally just because diving has been a large part of my life,” Jacobson said. “I don’t really see anything coming out of it professionally.”

According to her, she will only continue diving if the coach at the school is top of the list and will push her and motivate her to do harder dives.

She has recently been considering transferring to either UCSB or University of Wisconsin-Madison and will likely pursue a major in health sciences.

“It’s so motivating to watch her get up on the board and throw a new dive and flop a few times before nailing it perfectly,” Dettmann said. “She doesn’t give up and she doesn’t let a few flops phase her determination to get a new dive.”

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