UND senior Jennifer Anklan uses classroom knowledge to excel in the pool, pursue dream career


Amy Halvorson

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UND senior Jennifer Anklan uses classroom knowledge to excel in the pool, pursue dream career

In life and in the pool, University of North Dakota swimming and diving's Jennifer Anklan jumps in head first.

Looking for any advantage possible, Anklan, a diver and a kinesiology major, has been known to incorporate classroom theories into her competitive diving as a student athlete.

"Being an athlete in my major makes it easier to apply the concepts," said Anklan, a native of Rochester, Minn. "Things I learn in the classroom, I'll think about in practice, especially with sport psychology because being a diver is so mental."

As a freshman, Anklan was injured and had to undergo physical therapy. This revealed a whole new field and gave her another dream for which to strive. Anklan hopes to pursue a career as a physical therapist and travel with a team someday.

Anklan has been on the dive team at UND for four years and is still going strong. Throughout that time, she has broken the school record for the 1-meter board with a score of 271.13, and won a 3-meter event with a dive that scored 275.10, the seventh best in UND history. Anklan has also been named the Western Athletic Conference (WAC) Female Diver of the Week, an accomplishment only a handful other UND divers have achieved.

Anklan keeps strict priorities: academics first, practice second, and friends third. Being a student athlete has allowed Anklan to refine her study and time management skills.

"You obviously miss a lot of school going to different meets so you have to be able to focus off campus." Anklan said. "For example, on the bus, our team has 'study time.'"

The entire swimming and diving team is expected to maintain a 3.0 grade point average or higher, pushing its members to success both in and out of the pool, as well as increasing team bonding, or, according to Anklan, "family bonding."

"I think being a part of a team is like having another family up here," said Anklan. "If you can't go home when others do, you still have a family to be with."

Anklan also recently dove in and seized an opportunity to study abroad in Spain and was afforded new experiences on an international level.

"You can be a student athlete and have a life." Anklan said. "Yes, it takes up a lot of time but you can still do things you want."

Anklan has proved that student athletes can do it all; they just have to dive in and strive for their goals.

"Don't be afraid to go big," said Anklan. "I never thought I would be this competitive at the Division I level, but I am. You have to work hard because it's not always fun ? it's challenging too."

Amy Halvorson University & Public Affairs student writer

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