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Kristen Hayden became the first Black woman to win a U.S. national senior title. On Monday, Hayden, with Quinn Henniger, snatched the win in a mixed synchronized 3m springboard at the USA Diving Winter Nationals.
Hayden, of Hillsborough, New Jersey, recently transferred to Indiana University. Hayden and Henniger took the lead on their third dive of the competition, NBCSports reports. The duo racked up a final score of 286.86 points, a mere three points ahead of the leading divers.
This was Hayden and Hennigers first synchro competition together.
She joins Mike Wright as the only Black divers to win U.S. national titles. In 2012, Wright won the title on 1m springboard.
Hayden told reporters,
“You read about people like that, you watch Serena Williams, Simone Biles, Simone Manuel, but when it’s yourself, it’s insane. I think the whole diving community is headed in the right direction and I just want to be a good example for young Black Americans or any minority really for diving in the U.S.”
The 23-year-old diver started the sport when she was ten. She is also a founding member of USA Diving’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Council.
With the historic win, Hayden is the first Black American diver to earn a bid to the world championships set to take place in Japan, May 2022.