Spotlight on Seniors: By Air and By Sea: Jacque Desmond ’19

You’ll seldom catch Jacque Desmond ’19 not on the move. Between her media studies major, math minor, and participation in two CMS sports teams—track and field and swimming and diving—she has hardly a moment to catch her breath.

“It can get really hectic, but I have my friends and my coaches to lean on. They always make sure I’m doing ok.”

The three-time Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) diver of the week and SCIAC field athlete of the week for pole vault spends more time under water and aloft than most (her pole vault set the SCIAC record at over 13 feet in April, winning the league championship). With daily practices to contend with (swimming and track have overlapping seasons), a rigorous academic schedule, and a competitive season that earned her the first alternate for the D3 national competition for diving, she’s got a lot to be proud about, but for Desmond, it’s all about teamwork.

“It’s nice to be recognized for my hard work,” she says of her SCIAC honors, “but what I really love is seeing my teammates recognized, too. It’s such a group effort.”

“Jacque is a tremendous athlete—she has been a key member of the CMS diving team with the dual-meet wins, All-SCIAC performances, and regional accolades to illustrate it,” says Charlie Griffiths, head coach of the CMS swimming and diving program. “Jacque has also been a leader on the squad, connecting with each team member and creating a positive culture of hard work, respect, and fun.”

Desmond came to Scripps as a way to remain competitive in sports while also investing deeply in academics. “Math was my first love, but media studies is my true love—how it’s rooted in storytelling, but also has psychological and sociological aspects,” says Desmond, who has also served as a lifeguard at the Sallie Tiernan Field House pool and participated in Studio 47, the 5Cs film and TV production club. Desmond has melded the seemingly disparate fields of athletics and digital media in an animated short, an experimental montage, and a memoir-in-clips about her athletic rearing since infancy.

“I want to go into film production after graduation, and maybe get into stunt doubling—I think my background as a high jumper, gymnast, and pole vaulter will help! Any way I can fuse athletics and media would be great,” says Desmond. “Scripps has undoubtedly helped me see how I can be confident in these ambitions. From my coaches to all the other students I’ve met, I’m constantly inspired.”