No one was more surprised than Andover diving coach Becky Pierce.
“It almost never happens,” Pierce said. “It’s very unusual to take it up that late. I wouldn’t say she was crazy, but she was very determined to try something new. She also wanted to get the team more points, and she did really well right away.”
Keffer continued to impress when she dove in her first meet.
“Everyone was wondering, after qualifying for sections as a swimmer, would I want to dive?” Keffer said. “Then everyone was really surprised in my first meet when I did well. My first dive I got three 6’s and everyone was like, ‘Wow, you are really good.’”
But a terrifying incident brought her season to an end, when she suffered a broken nose during a practice dive.
“It was really a freak accident,” she said. “I went for a dive during practice and kneed myself in the face. I hit the water and my nose was just shattered.
“I really didn’t know what happened at first. Then I got out of the water and everyone was freaking out. Then it started to hurt bad and I realized what had happened. It was very scary.”
Keffer needed 10 stitches on the bridge of her nose and was due for surgery three weeks later.
But there was a day, after the stitches were removed, but before she underwent surgery the following day, that she was medically allowed to dive.
But would she really dive the day before nose surgery? You betcha.
“I went to practice the day before surgery and said I wanted to dive,” she said. “I figured, I was already having nose surgery the next day. What was the worst I could do to myself?
“The injury and the time away from diving actually made me realize how much I missed it and how much I wanted to get back and do it.”