Seneca Valley grad enjoying successful two-sport career at W&J
To say Washington & Jefferson's Jenn Suder is making the most of her college experience would be an understatement.
The junior diver recently was selected the Presidents' Athletic Conference Women's Diver of the Year for the second consecutive year as well as the PAC Student-Athlete Advisory Committee Scholar-Athlete of the month for February.
“(After winning diver of the year last year) I wanted to do the best I could this year,” Suder said. “I missed a month of the season to travel to London last year, so it was a little more rewarding to win it the first time. This year, it was icing on the cake, and it is definitely my goal for next year.”
In addition to her diving skill, Suder also hits up the links for the school's golf team. Since spending every season playing some sport is time consuming, the Scholar-Athlete of the month honor is another gratifying reward for her hard work.
“It can be difficult because I miss more class than I should,” Suder said. “I work with my professors to make sure I get all my work and make up what I need. That is definitely the hardest part.”
Suder was a diver in high school, but opted to play golf instead in college. Her golf coach informed diving coach Vic Galati that Suder had some skill on the board, and he asked her to come out and work out with the team.
“I was out of diving for a year, but it kicked back in like riding a bike, muscle memory,” Suder said.
It did take Suder some time to get back in diving shape and get back the flexibility she once had as well as her core strength.
“I was a gymnast for a long time, but the injuries began to build up,” Suder said. “I gave diving a chance in high school (because of the similarities in the sports).”
Although she enjoys golf, Suder said she probably is a better diver. Nonetheless, she will continue to participate in both sports for the remainder of the college career.
Suder wrapped up a diving season in which she placed sixth in the 3-meter NCAA Division III Region 4 Championship at the Rochester Institute of Technology with 395.70 points. After her sixth-place showing, she was named first alternate for the NCAA Division III Championships.
Suder, who is also an All-PAC golfer for W&J, had one of the top moments of the three-day PAC meet in February by scoring 513.35 points on the 3-meter diving board to set conference, invitational, pool and school records. Her total was only 3.75 points off the NCAA Division III record of 517.10 set by Hayley Emerick of Trinity (Texas).
Suder is the vice president of W&J's SAAC and is involved with the college's honors program. She also is a member of W&J's Epsilon Omega chapter of the Kappa Alpha Theta Fraternity, the first Greek-letter fraternity for women, founded on the principles of attaining the highest scholarship and influencing the campus, community and world for good.
The junior is a Seneca Valley graduate. She is majoring in history and also studying pre-law before she heads off to law school following her senior year. She currently is carrying a 3.4 cumulative grade point average.
Jerry Clark is a staff writer for Trib Total Media.