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Men's Senior Diver Trevor Nelson competes in the one-meter dive against Rider at Sheer Pool on Jan. 27, 2023. Credit: Samantha Turner

Less than a week before competing in his final Ivy League Championships,  senior Trevor Nelson of Penn men's swimming and diving sat down with The Daily Pennsylvanian for 15 questions about his time on the team, his  interests, and his plans after graduation. Here’s what the the diver had to say. 

1. Can you introduce yourself?

I'm Trevor Nelson, a senior. I'm from Evanston, Ill., a suburb just outside of Chicago. My major is neuroscience, and I’m a diver on the Penn men’s swimming and diving team. 

2. How did you get started in diving? 

I've been diving since I was like 10-11 years old. Before that, I was a gymnast. I grew up doing gymnastics, but when my family relocated to Chicago from California, I couldn't find a gym to do gymnastics, so my mom combined my love of water and flipping/twisting and pushed me to do diving. 

3. Does anyone else in your family also dive? 

My mom was a field hockey and soccer player, and my dad was a football player, so no. I went in a completely different direction. 

4. What's your all-time favorite diving memory?

Probably going to nationals in my junior year of high school. This was at a time when I was practicing really hard so I could like make good videos for recruiting. Then, I went to nationals in Atlanta with my team and it was super fun. I ended up diving really well, and it was a rewarding experience. 

5. What’s your favorite Penn Swimming and Diving memory? 

Last year’s Ivy League championships was really, really, really fun. During my freshman year Ivy League championships, morale was pretty low because we didn't compete as well as we wanted to. Then, last year, it was our first year back from COVID-19, so everyone was super excited and determined, and I ended up doing really well. I was happy with my performance and how I helped the team because we ended up getting third overall, which was one of the highest finishes we’ve had in a really long time. It was just a fun and gratifying experience. 

6. Ivy League championships are next week, are you nervous? What are you looking forward to at the meet?

I'm actually really excited. Last year, I was pretty nervous because it was my junior year, but now I've had another season with the team. I'm just really excited to go, compete, and have fun. Since it’s my last meet, the meet is more about me relaxing and enjoying myself rather than being stressed out over doing well.

7. Do you have any pre-meet rituals?

Not anymore really, but in high school I would always listen to music before and in between dives, and I would not focus on diving until it was my turn.

8. How do you manage sports and academics? What's your best tip for fellow student-athletes? 

It really boils down to time management, blocking out hours of your practice for just practicing, and utilizing free time during the day so you're not staying up late really at night doing work. Personally, my brain is drained after practice. I can't sit down and focus, so I prefer to relax and eat dinner rather than go to the library. I try my best to do most of my work during the breaks in between classes and practices during the day. 

9. Outside of diving, what's your favorite recreational thing to do on campus?

I like to just go on walks around campus and sit out in the sun, especially when it’s nice out. 

10. Are you involved in any clubs or campus organizations? 

Yeah, I’m part of Alpha Iota Gamma (AIR), the pre-healthcare fraternity, which I love. It’s where I’ve met my closest friends. I’m also involved with We Can Swim, which is a club that teaches underprivileged kids in West Philadelphia how to swim. 

11. Who is your favorite Penn professor? 

Michael Kane in the science department. I took NRSC 1110 — “Introduction to Brain and Behavior” with him. I just took a seminar with him last semester about animal models and neuropsychiatric disorders, which was super cool. I got to talk to him more one-on-one in the seminar class, and he’s a great professor [who was] super nice and accommodating. 

12. What's your favorite thing about Philadelphia?

I feel like this is everyone's answer, but the food is my favorite. There are just so many different kinds of food, and I love exploring restaurants and finding new places. I actually have a list of places I need to go to. 

13. What’s the biggest difference between Chicago and Philly? Anything you love about Philly that isn’t in Chicago or vice versa? 

I think Philadelphia is a much smaller city than Chicago scale-wise, which makes Philly way more walkable and I really like that. I like that I can get to Center City in 30 minutes if I just want to take a walk.

14. What music have you been listening to lately?

I'm a Swiftie, so I’ve been listening to Taylor. Lana Del Rey just came out with a new song, so I’ve been listening to that as well. 

15. Graduation is only months away, what's next for you? 

I made it to the final round just for this one job, so fingers crossed that works out. I'm looking for other jobs in the healthcare industry as well, but I also applied to a master's program in Michigan that I’m waiting to hear back from. A lot of things on the table right now, so honestly, I’ll pursue whatever comes first.