At least one of Minnesota’s two impact diving redshirts will return to the active roster for the 2020-2021 NCAA season: two-time NCAA champ Sarah Bacon.
Bacon has finished in the top two at NCAAs on 1-meter in each of her three NCAA seasons. She was the national runner-up as a freshman in 2017, then won the board as both a sophomore and junior. Bacon sat out the 2019-2020 NCAA season with an Olympic redshirt.
Bacon is a top international talent who won World Championships silver on 1-meter in the summer of 2019, along with 1-meter gold at Pan Ams and 3-meter synchro silver.
She’s an impact returner for the Golden Gophers. After scoring 30, 31, and 34 points over her first three seasons, Bacon should be in line for similar NCAA scoring this year, along with perhaps 60+ Big Ten points.
Bacon was one of three key Golden Gophers to take Olympic-year redshirt seasons. Distance swimmer Mackenzie Padington has since turned pro. All-American diver Kristen Hayden is still a question mark, as the program says there’s no official word yet as to whether Hayden will return to collegiate competition this season or take another gap year.
Hayden also scored at NCAAs over her first three seasons. She scored 6 for Michigan as a freshman before transferring to Minnesota and scoring 11 in 2018 and 6 more in 2019.
The Gophers will also add some talented freshmen to their dive group this year, including the top two in-state high school divers Megan Philip and Susanna Fish.