We can all agree that this has been an unusual year for high school athletics. This is especially true for seniors seeking to complete their final year of competition. However, today’s students continue to set the mark of excellence during this timeframe. Today, we share a conversation with RCS senior Jared Lamson and learn about his final year in competitive swimming and diving representing the RCS District.
This year, during the Winter sports season, Jared was recognized for breaking his own record in diving for the championship. Even in a year without much diving, Mr. Lamson was still able to end his high school season by breaking his own diving record. It may have only been by a single point, but it still represented a new school record at RCS. In addition, he’s also not only doing it in the pool, but also excelling in the classroom. Earlier this year, he was selected as Section II Scholar Athlete for boys swimming and diving. As part of that process, he was selected from a strong group of student-athlete candidates and by a committee of Section II swimming and diving officials.
In order to be considered for this recognition, a senior must meet the following criteria: maintain an overall average of at least 92.5% and qualify for at least one event at the Section II Championships. Jared met those expectations and raised the stakes. Not only was he a qualifier, but Jared was the Section II Diving Champion as a sophomore and junior and would have been named as a senior, if there had been a Sectional Championship. Instead, he was named the Aqua League Champion his senior year. Jared represented RCS and Section II at the State Championships in both his sophomore and junior years finishing ninth during his junior year campaign. Due to COVID-19, there were no state championships this year.
Here’s our Q&A with Mr. Lamson.
How has being a competitive student-athlete changed for you during the 2020-21 season?
With my primary sport being diving, the challenge to find a place to practice has been the biggest issue in the past year. In lieu of not being able to dive, I started to run and decided to join the RCS cross country team during the Fall II season. No matter the sport, practice has become far more individualized in the past year as most people are working out alone. This requires a great amount of intrinsic motivation to get up every day and continue working hard with very few goals in sight.
What motivates you as a student-athlete?
I have always been very self-motivated, and if I’m being completely honest, I don´t 100% know where that motivation comes from. It could be a sense of urgency to stay physically fit or it could be the fact that I enjoy exercising. In the end, it is most likely a combination of many things, however, one specific source of motivation is wanting to be the best at whatever I am doing. Knowing that this will most likely never be true in any aspect of my life, it is what gets me out of bed in the morning to go for a run or pushes me through my mental blocks in diving.
How do you translate success in the classroom to athletics?
For me, achieving a high standard academically fits hand in hand with athletics. If one falters than the other will too. The motivation to keep my grades up and not give into senioritis has helped me develop the time management skills required to be able to pursue two sports to a high degree. It is not about how one translates to the other, but instead how both complement one another in the bigger picture.
How did being named Section II Scholar Athlete make you feel?
Receiving the news from Coach Kerney that I was named the Section 2 Division 2 scholar athlete was very uplifting in this year of uncertainty. In previous years, I had always wondered if I would reach the academic achievement required to be given the award, and it turns out that I had. More importantly, I realized how much the people around me have helped me through my high school years. Whether it be my parents, teachers, and coaches, they all had a great part in my success as a scholar student-athlete.
Finally, where do you see yourself in 10 years?
For the time being, I have not put too much thought into where I will be in 10 years, as pursuing a double degree in Music performance and Biomedical engineering could prove to be quite tumultuous. In the next 4-6 years of college my idea of the future will most likely shift and be remolded. That being said, in 10 years my career path could diverge into a multitude of different ways, each pathway having the likelihood of coming to fruition.