Keith Heaver was a stalwart on Iowa State’s dominant men’s gymnastics teams of the mid-1970s, earning All-America honors three times and winning two NCAA titles on the still rings.
A native of Wheaton, Ill., the architecture major came to Iowa State after winning numerous Illinois prep titles on the still rings.
He gained national recognition his sophomore season, winning the 1974 Big Eight Conference and NCAA Championships titles on the still rings, the first ISU sophomore to win an NCAA ring crown. His performance helped ISU capture its third NCAA team title.
Heaver was the man to beat on the rings heading into his junior season (1975). He had stiff competition in the workout room with sophomore Cyclone Doug Wood, who also possessed national championship-caliber ability. Heaver again reigned supreme on the rings, winning his second consecutive NCAA title, helping ISU place seventh at the NCAA Championships.
Heaver and Wood staged epic battles on the rings during his senior campaign. Heaver won his second Big Eight ring title, but Wood edged Heaver at the NCAA meet to give Heaver a second-place finish and All-America honors for the third consecutive season. Heaver was one of seven finalists for the 1976 Nissen Award, given annually to the nation’s best collegiate gymnast.
Heaver, ISU’s record-holder on the still rings with a score of 9.90, helped ISU achieve a 43-1 dual meet record in his four-year career. He is one of six multiple NCAA champions in ISU gymnastics history.
Heaver currently resides in St. Paul, Minn., where he owns and operates his own architectural design firm, Heaver Design and Construction.