On Thursday night Minnesota Golden Gophers senior Sarah Bacon made history bein the first diver in Minnesota history to three-peat at the NCAA Diving Championships. Friday night she made it even sweeter winning her fourth NCAA Diving Championship in her career!
Bacon won the 2018 and 2019 NCAA 1-meter spring board national championships. She took the 2019-20 season off to train for the Toyko Olympics that never happened, so she returned to the U for her senior season this season. It appears to have paid off.
On Thursday Bacon finished first in the prelim competition on the one-meter springboard by six points over Arizona’s Delaney Schnell and was one of eight finalists to compete for the tilte Thursday night. She started off slow in the finals posting just a 54.00 to be in fourth place after the first dive. But she had five more to show off, and show off she did, She scored 62.40 on three of her six dives including her final one to clinch the title by 8.5 points.
By winning on Thursday night Bacon made history. She became the only diver in Minnesota history to win a three-peat of national championships. In fact, she became the first woman in ANY sport at the University of Minnesota to win an individual three-peat and joins only Men’s gymnast John Roethlisberger who won the men’s All-Around NCAA Championships from 1991-1993 and tirack and field athlete Fortune Gordien who won the NCAA discus championship three times in a row from 1946-1948.
Bacon’s third NCAA title jumps her above a pair of other former Gophers, Kelci Bryant who won NCAA titles in 2010 and 2011, and Yu Zhou won win in 2015 and 2017. So what did she do for an encore....how about win a fourth title!
Bacon won the three-meter springboard NCAA Championship Friday night for the first time in her career. After leading the prelims in the afternoon once again, she scored a total of 408.60 points over her six dives to win her second title in less than 24 hours!
So what is next for Bacon? The 2021 US Olympic Diving Trials will take place June 6-13, 2021 at Indiana University. Can Bacon be the first Gopher diver since Kelci Bryant to compete for the US at the Olympics? We will find out in two and a half months!
Congrats to Sarah on her accomplishments at the U!