Kristen Hayden Become First Black Woman To Win US Senior National Diving Title
"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.," Hayden said.
December 14, 2021 at 3:29 pm
Kristen Hayden, 23, made history by becoming the first Black woman to win a U.S. national senior title in the USA Diving Winter National Championships.
Hayden, originally from Hillsborough, New Jersey, entered the sport at the age of 10. Now, as members of Team U.S.A., Hayden and her diving partner, Quinn Henninger, earned a victory in the mixed synchronized 3-meter on Monday. Hayden recently transferred to Indiana University, and this was her first first synchro competition with freshman Henninger.
Hayden's victory also gained her a bid to the May FINA World Championships held in Japan, according to Swimming World magazine.
She follows the historic 2012 accomplishment of Michael Wright, whose win in the 1-meter springboard competition made him the first Black National Champion, NBC Sports reports.
“I don’t think words can even describe the feeling,” Hayden said. “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," said Hayden, who served on the team for the 2016 Junior Worlds.
She will go on to compete in the 3-meter synchro with partner Margo O'Meara and will also participate in the individual 1-meter and 3-meter competitions.