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Donald Harper
Sequoia Class of 1951

1900-1926 - 1926-1950 - 1950-1974 - 1974-2002 - Coaches
Highlighted names have bios included.

  • NCS Record-1949, 2nd 3 meter diving; 1950 & 51, league and NCS Champion. NCS championships during that era included tall of northern California, excluding San Francisco and the valley.
  • 1950 & 51 Don Harper was accorded High School All American Diving honors.
  • Don Harper enrolled at Ohio State University in 1953, when OSU had the most competitive diving corps in the nation. Competition was keen to even make the team in that competitive climate. To put the competition in perspective, Ohio State University had 17 National Champion divers during the 1950’s
  • Don was one of the first to incorporate the use of a video camera, strapping a camera to his chest to review his performance on the trampoline during his training regimen, and then apply it to diving.
  • In 1955, at the Pan American Games in Mexico City, he won the gold medal on the trampoline, unofficially becoming the first World Champion, since this was the first international competition in trampoline. Earlier in the year he won 4 major diving contests in Tokyo & Osaka, Japan.
  • During 1956, Don won Big 10, NCAA and AAU Championships in 3 meter springboard competition & qualified first at the 1956 U.S. Olympic Trials. He was narrowly outscored at the Olympic Games in Melbourne, Australia, by his Ohio State teammate Bob Clotworthy, and received a silver medal.
  • Don continued diving for another 5 years, winning at least one major championship during each of those years. He won another USA vs. Japan duel meet in 1959 and silver medaled in the 10 meter platform in Chicago that same year. Don did not stop with athletics, and earned Bachelor, Master and Doctorate degrees in the field of physical education, health and physiology, and remained at Ohio State University as a professor of Physiology.

Don's accomplishment's follow:

  • 5 U.S National Championships
  • 3 NCAA Championships
  • 7 National AAU Championships
  • 1956 Olympic Games Silver Medal
  • 2 Trampoline National Championships
  • The only athlete in the history of the NCAA to win two national championships in two separate sports during the same year.
  • Member of the Ohio State University Sports Hall of Fame
  • Recipient of the Big 10 Medal of Honor
  • Member of the International Swimming & Diving Hall of Fame

Don is the first person to credit the faculty and coaches at Sequoia that helped launch his incredible career. “The support and leadership of my coaches and teachers at Sequoia provided me with the background in academics and athletics to make my life productive and meaningful. To them, I will be forever indebted.” Don Harper, class of 1951.


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