A four-time Eastern Inter-Scholastic diving champion, Keith Harris ’84 set the bar in his sport. He reigned undefeated over all his competitors, and 25 years later he still ranks first in the Falcon record books on the one-meter board for the six and eleven dive categories. Despite the saying “records are meant to be broken,” the standards set by Harris will stand the test of time.
“Keith was one of the more graceful and fluid divers that I have seen,” said Dave Bush, former Peddie diving coach. “He was technically so much better than other divers that judges oftentimes did not know how to score him.” Most diving competitions connected with swimming events do not attract the same number of spectators as the swimming. But at the Clinton I. Sprout Pool and other venues, Harris performed before packed houses. Well known for his acrobatics and flawless “rip” entries, Harris saved his crowd-pleasing signature dive for last, the front one-and-one-half, double twist.
“Keith was an incredible diver, always cool-headed during competition,” former teammate Bill Volckening ’84 said. “It was an absolute spectacle to watch him, and he was truly a magician on the springboard.”
Harris went on to become a four-year letter winner for the Texas Longhorns and earned All-America honors on both the one and three-meter boards at NCAA Championships.
Harris continued to make a splash outside of collegiate competition, making the transition from the springboard to the 10-meter platform. He specialized in synchronized diving, reaching the finals three times at nationals and claiming a spot on the U.S. National Team before retiring in 1997.
A remarkable competitor and loyal teammate, Keith Harris’ magnificent diving will be hallowed as his name is displayed on the wall of honor at the Peddie Sports Hall of Fame.