NEW YORK— Diver Jayden Pantel has flat out dominated the Ivy League for the past two years – winning both the 1M and 3M board titles in back-to-back seasons.
He can thank his sister for that.
Pantel started doing gymnastics when he was four years old. It was not until his sister dragged him to a week-long diving camps shortly after when he found his true passion.
“After that week, I started to realize that diving was something I was interested in,” Pantel recalls. “I did both for a year and then I made the difficult but exciting decision to switch to diving.”
Diving, he realized, suited his perfectionist personality to a tee.
“I like to always keep working towards something and diving offers that in every practice,” Pantel said. “There’s no such thing as a perfect dive. The constant pursuit of something that’s not quite within reach is really fun and a really motivating factor.”
Pantel hails from the suburban town of Saskatton, Saskatchewan in Canada. Growing up in that city, which sits along the Saskatchewan River and has a population off around 250,000 people, Pantel loves the outdoors.
“Because of that atmosphere living outside the city, I really enjoy things like dirt biking, snowboarding, skiing and wake boarding.”
Coming to New York, his interests have shifted to accommodate things that the metropolitan city has to offer.
“I’ve learned to love exploring New York,” Pantel said, citing art galleries as one of the types of places he likes to visit. “I think often sometimes as a student athlete you’re only focused on school and then diving and New York is something I should take advantage of while I can.“
The summer has been the time for Pantel to do that, after he’s done training of course.
The rising senior has been frequenting Uris Pool all summer long, preparing for his final campaign with Columbia Diving this season. After all, he is a veteran now.
“We’ve got a great group of guys coming in,” Pantel said. “I’ve got to keep up with them."
Even with four Ivy League titles under his belt, and a bunch of Columbia records in between, Pantel knows there's always room for improvement. It's the perfectionist in him.