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Published April 20 2010

Diving: 1st lady Grover goes D-I, Jameson signs letter to dive for Idaho

Fargo Oak Grove senior Mairin Jameson looked at diving as a sport of convenience, a fun activity that could put her gymnastics skills to good use.

She never dreamed her choice to hit the pool was history in the making.

Jameson on Monday became the first Grover female athlete to sign an NCAA Division I letter of intent when she committed to the University of Idaho swimming and diving team during a news conference at Benson Hall.

“It’s beyond a dream come true,” said Jameson, who was undefeated last season en route to a North Dakota state diving championship for Fargo Shanley. “I am very, very blessed.”

Jameson, who competes for Shanley’s swim team through a co-op with Oak Grove, had eyes on competing in Division I college gymnastics as a standout in Fargo’s American Gold program.

She advanced to regional gymnastics competition as a fifth-grader.

Jameson said quit the sport shortly after breaking both ankles during state competition as a seventh-grader.

“My goal was to go Division I in gymnastics and go to the University of Arizona,” said Jameson, who competed in the Kindred school district before moving to Oak Grove for her freshman year. “That was my goal since I was seven. I had to re-think my whole life.”

Jameson joined the Shanley swimming and diving team as a freshman with no experience.

Three months later, she finished fourth at state.

Jameson was sixth as a sophomore and third as a junior.

“I love to flip,” she said. “And there is a lot of flipping in diving.

“The transition (from gymnastics to diving) was very easy for me.”

Jameson took recruiting visits to UND, South Dakota, Evansville (Ind.), Florida Gulf Coast and Idaho.

She verbally committed to joining the Vandals while still on her visit to the Moscow, Idaho campus.

Jameson said she hopes for a career in medicine.

“I couldn’t turn it down,” she said of Idaho’s full-ride scholarship offer.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Heath Hotzler at (701) 241-5562