Gymnastics and trampoline helped lay a foundation for skilled senior diver Meghan Clark. The native of Frisco, Texas competed in trampoline and gymnastics for seven years before diving competitively her senior year at Liberty High School. Her single campaign garnered attention from a collegiate coach during her last meet of the year, inspiring Clark to explore her diving options. Clark was sold on becoming a Razorback and the chance to walk on the Arkansas women’s swimming and diving team was an added benefit.
Four seasons later, Clark, a kinesiology major, is embarking on her final season in the Cardinal and White and reminisces on the teams’ past Florida training trips and diving every day at practice with her best friends.
How did you get involved with diving?
Well, I was a gymnast for about seven years and I actually did diving when I was 12, and I absolutely hated it, so I quit, then I went into trampoline. In my senior year of high school I decided to give diving another try and here I am now.
How does gymnastics and trampoline help you in diving?
Gymnastics really laid the base of diving – the flipping and the body awareness. Trampoline helped also with body awareness, bounce and timing. I know a lot of trampolinists get diving scholarships without even touching a board.
At what point did you realize you wanted to dive collegiately?
When I was in high school at state, my very, very last meet when I was given the opportunity. Because I really didn’t think that I ever had a shot at it. But when a coach was interested in me, that’s when I was like, ‘Okay, I want to do that!’
Did you ever think you would dive collegiately after only doing it for a year?
No, I didn’t know! I had no idea until my last meet that I was offered a scholarship – I didn’t even know it was an option. So then I decided I would come here and see if they would let me walk on.
Did you always want to go to Arkansas?
I was originally supposed to go to Oklahoma, because I would be a fifth legacy on both sides of my family, and I’m an only child of those both sides. I was supposed to go there, but I broke the legacy. I’m very big on my ‘gut feeling’. When I came here I got really nervous and excited, and I didn’t at any other school. I knew it was going to be a good fit for me.
What is the team bond like?
Overall the team bond is really good. I know specifically diving wise, we’re with each other every day and they’re like my sisters. It’s a family bond and I can see them being my best friends for the rest of my life.
What’s your favorite diving memory?
Whenever we travel together, I love it. When we go on training trips we don’t have to focus on school, we get to focus more on the team and training, those are my favorite memories. When we get to go on the beach and hang out or when we get to do diving games against each other. There’s a lot of memories, I can’t just pick out one.
What are your post-grad ambitions?
I kind of have two career paths that I am looking at. One is being a strength and conditioning coach for a college and the other I am looking into is getting an education degree and becoming a teacher and a coach in high school.
What does #NeverYield mean to you?
Never back down, never give up and just keeping forward. Even if you fail, like in diving, if you mess up a dive, you have to keep going for it. Don’t let it affect you.