Kristen Hayden becomes first black woman to win national diving title

BLOOMINGTON, Indiana – Kristen Hayden became the first black woman to win a United States senior national title when she teamed up with Quinn Henninger for victory on the mixed synchronized 3-meter springboard Monday at the USA Winter National Championships. Diving.

Hayden, who recently transferred to Indiana University, and rookie Henninger took the lead on their third jump of the competition. His next two jumps received mostly 7.0s for a total score of 286.86 points, three points ahead of Carson Tyler and Anne Fowler.

It was the first synchronized competition together for Henninger and Hayden.

Hayden joined Mike Wright as the only black divers to win national titles for the United States. Wright won on the 1 meter springboard in 2012.

“I don’t think there are words to describe how I feel,” Hayden said. “You read about people like that, you see Serena Williams, Simone Biles, Simone Manuel, but when it’s you, it’s crazy. I think the whole diving community is headed in the right direction and I just want to be a good example for young black people. Americans or any minority actually by nailing the United States. “

Hayden is the first black American diver to seal a spot at the world championships in May in Japan. She was a member of the team at the 2016 Junior World Cups.

She is a founding member of USA Diving’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Council. The 23-year-old diver from Hillsborough, New Jersey, started playing the sport at age 10.

Hayden will also compete in the women’s synchronized 3 meter with her partner Margo O’Meara, as well as the individual 1 meter and 3 meter events.