Feb. 8, 2013
By Jourdan Rodrigue, SDA Digital Communications Intern
Harrison Jones stands at five-foot three inches and three meters tall.
He's a diver and a recent transfer from USC to Arizona State who, upon entering the water, has blown the competition out of it.
"He's a huge asset. He's our only male diver what with Riley [McCormick] being out with an injury," said dive coach Mark Bradshaw.
Jones was recently named November's and January's Pac-12 Diver of the Month. It's his fourth time receiving the award and only one small line on his extensive list of accolades. He won his first Pac-10 conference crown in 2009 on the 1-meter, and his second in the same event a year later. He has also ranked in the top ten at NCAA tournaments since 2009 and was the first diver in the world to complete a dive with a 4.1 difficulty level.
"He's going to outscore everybody," said Bradshaw. "I would rank him among the best in the world."
Jones attributes much of his success to his ability to control his body.
"You have to have a lot of body awareness," he said. "Each position, even on the board, you have to have the exact right position to take off...you have to be tight as well as flexible."
But the technicality and intensity of the sport has had no effect on Jones' laid-back personality.
"He's one of the most laid-back people I know," said former ASU diver Constantin Blaha.
Added Bradshaw, "One of the biggest assets for him is that he's cool, he's collected. He's very easygoing.
In a sport where a slight mental mistake means a huge physical error, Jones' ability to differentiate between diving and the rest of his life is truly his greatest weapon. Jones can flip through the air one moment, then flip a switch the next.
"When it's dive time it's dive time," said Jones. "I'm a really competitive person but when I'm not competing I'm a pretty easygoing guy."