Jessica Parratto has traveled the world as an international diver.
She is a three-time senior national champion.
She began competing nationally at age 13.
Still, she has yet to compete in a single collegiate meet.
The IU freshman, who chose to redshirt last season, will dive for IU for the first time Saturday.
“I’m so excited,” Parratto said. “I’ve definitely been waiting a long time for this. It was hard to sit out last season and miss out on traveling with the team.”
Parratto took six months off from training at the end of her senior year of high school. She was recovering from a bone bruise on her wrist. All she could do was rest.
Parratto was also home-schooled during high school and wanted a year to adjust to Big Ten college life, she said.
“I wasn’t really prepared to be up there, and I think I also wanted to adjust to college and freshman year,” Parratto said. “So I just wanted to get my bearings and get back into my training regimen.”
Since her sophomore year of high school, Parratto has been training for international competition with hopes of competing at the Olympics in 2016.
This past summer, Parratto qualified for the diving World Cup and was a finalist at the Grand Prix in Mexico.
She specializes in the 10-meter and 10-meter synchronized competitions.
Because of this, Parratto spent more time in her year off practicing on the springboard to prepare for college diving.
She had just begun practicing again after her injury.
“I think I just really wanted to get back up there and kind of relearn what I was doing and improve anything and everything that I could,” Parratto said. “I focused on new techniques, and working with Drew our first year together was awesome.”
Parratto grew up in New Hampshire and was coached by her mom.
After moving to Indiana at age 14, she said she couldn’t imagine herself anywhere but IU.
“I’ve always known all the divers on the diving team, so I didn’t really feel like I wanted to move again because I felt like I was home already here,” Parratto said. “I love this place.”