March-April 2011 | Parenting

Top Teens 2011

Bethesda Magazine's 2011 Extraordinary Teen Awards.

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The Diver

Jordan Gear

Senior, Landon School

What sets him apart: Jordan Gear was 3 when he discovered his gifts of flexibility and balance. “We had this rock in front of our house, and I used to go and flip off it,” he says. “The ability to have complete control of the body…and the grace and beauty of acrobatics always was intriguing. Plus, it was really cool and impressive.”

Originally a gymnast, Jordan started diving in 2009. Today, the 18-year-old Potomac resident spends about 20 hours a week diving for the Montgomery Dive Club, as well as Landon’s varsity dive team. Last year he placed third in the 3-meter springboard and 11th in the 1-meter springboard regional competition in North Carolina. He placed 11th in both springboard competitions at the Zone Championships in Rockville, which qualified him for Nationals in Arizona last summer.

Other accomplishments: He’s editor in chief of Brown and White, Landon’s yearbook; one of 13 students chosen by peers and faculty as leaders and teachers of ethics within the school; a ringer in the advanced handbell choir.

What others say: Doug Beavers, program director at the Montgomery Dive Club, is training Jordan as he prepares for diving in college. “In a very short time, Jordan has learned very complex skills,” Beavers says. “His focus and willingness to dedicate a great deal of time to his training has allowed him to catch, and even surpass, divers who have been training for years.”

What his future holds: Jordan will dive for the University of Southern California in the fall, and “I want to go to the Olympics in 2016 for diving.” As for his studies, “I’m taking two language classes now, and I want to pick up more in college.”