Former IU diver Kristen Kane will be among Friday’s inductees into the IU Athletics
Hall of Fame.
Kane, who was relatively ignored coming out of high school but became a USA
Diving champion, has had an illustrious career that included a U.S. Outdoor Diving
Championship in the one-meter competition in 1992 , three Big Ten championships
(three-meter in 1992 and 1994 , 10-meter in 1992) , two Big Ten Diver of the Year awards (1992 and 1994 ), four years of All-American status , two IU Female Athlete of the Year Awards (1992 and 1994) and a selection to be a member of the U.S. delegation for the Pan-American games (1995).
Kane got a late start in the sport compared to other divers. When she was in seventh grade, a lifeguard at her neighborhood pool saw her “doing tricks” off the diving board and recommended she join a local diving program.
During the next six years, Kane became a competitive diver, eventually joining her high school team in Kingston, Wash.
When her senior year of high school arrived, though she was relatively unknown around the national diving community, IU offered her a partial scholarship.
“I chose IU because, on top of the top-notch school with a diving program in which I could gain great experiences, they had offered me a partial scholarship,”Kane said. “I was a veritable unknown in the diving world, and most of my successful competitions were high school related, not national. No one else offered me money.”
After her sophomore season at IU, Kane was already among the national elite in diving. In addition to winning multiple Big Ten titles and being named an All-American, Kane also finished as NCAA runnerup in the one-meter dive competition and third in
As her junior and senior years approached, she said the pressure she put on herself
to succeed was not to maintain her All-American status or obtain other national
recognitions. Instead, the pressure she said she faced was performing at her highest ability, no matter what her results were during the prior season.
“I always wanted to do my best regardless of how that compared to others or ranking scales or whatever,” Kane said. “I wanted to win to prove to myself I could. A year, five years, 10 years from today, who will remember who won what? Me. While it’s great to win,the real winning is bettering yourself and striving to achieve your goals.”
After her senior season, which ended in a secondplace finish in the 1994 NCAA three-meter competition, Kane’s career was extended when she qualified for the U.S. diving team for the 1995 Pan American Games, She finished sixth in the overall competition, despite a sprained ankle.
“To be representing your country in international competition is just an amazing thing,” Kane said. “I felt so much pride — American pride. I also felt anxious because I wanted to represent the USA successfully in international competition.”
Seventeen years after her final dive as an Indiana Hoosier, Kane will be enshrined
as a member of the IU Athletics Hall of Fame.
It all still comes as a shock to Kane, she said.
She will not be able to attend the induction ceremony. Former IU diver Chris Unruh will appear on her behalf.
“I feel a bit out of my league and surprised to be acknowledged with such a class of athletes,” Kane said. “All in all, though, I am extremely honored, and this allows me to take a moment of pride to know that my hard work and accomplishments were, and continue to be, recognized by others.”
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