All-American takes after older sister

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Although Drew Livingston recalls throwing a metal toy at his sister’s face when he was a kid, that violence does not define their relationship.

Jessica Livingston, who graduated from UT in 2008, and Drew have both been recognized as all-American divers at Texas. Jessica Livingston was the 2007 NCAA platform diving champion, and Drew Livingston was the 2009 NCAA 1-meter diving champion.

Drew Livingston began diving when he was 6 years old because his mother brought him along to take Jessica to the pool.

“At the time, my sister was 10 and she had been doing gymnastics and started diving,” Drew Livingston said. “I was the little kid who got dragged to the pool and had to watch her and not do anything. I started taking lessons, and I just stuck with it ever since then.”

Although most older siblings would be upset that their little brother was copying them, Jessica Livingston was glad to have her brother in the same sport.

“He did pretty much every sport available,” she said. “He tried baseball, basketball and soccer. My parents asked him if he wanted to try diving and he ended up really liking it, and he eventually began excelling well beyond what I have done.”

Drew Livingston always appreciated her help on the mental side of swimming.

“It was cool having an older sibling who had been through everything that I was going through,” he said. “Whenever I had a bad meet, she would tell me how I should feel and how to get over it.”

Although their parents Robert and Janine Livingston did not dive, they were very supportive of both Drew and Jessica.

“I can’t thank them enough for driving me to practice every day when I was younger, paying for all the trips and sacrificing vacations so we could go to diving meets,” Drew Livingston said.

Their parents let them try various activities and told them that they could choose whatever sport they wanted. In addition, they helped both kids get through tough times.

“It is really hard when you are younger because it is tough to get motivated because you don’t have that internal drive that you eventually get when you are older,” Jessica Livingston said.

Both Jessica and Drew Livingston’s parents were ecstatic when Drew told them about his decision to go to Texas. Drew told Jessica his decision by sending her an e-mail with a picture of himself wearing UT gear.

“I was thrilled. I knew that he always liked UT, but you never know where someone is going to end up eventually going to college,” Jessica Livingston said. “He was looking at a bunch of really good schools.”

After his coach, she was the first person he told about his decision.

“She was just yelling through the phone,” Drew Livingston said. “That was probably the happiest part of the whole recruiting process — hearing how excited she was.”

Jessica Livingston introduced him to Texas, and seeing her at practice every day made him feel more comfortable.

“It was nice because we used to dive together before my high school days, so it was kind of cool to have that connection for one more year before she retired,” Drew Livingston said.

The siblings, the only ones in their family, have always gotten along and the incident with the metal toy was the only time Drew can remember them fighting. Jessica Livingston is currently an assistant coach at Alabama and is getting her MBA there. The two got to see each other at Thanksgiving last weekend.

“We don’t get to see each other as much as we used to, and it was really cool having the whole family back together for Thanksgiving,” Drew Livingston said.