Courtesy of USA Diving
Gophers redshirt senior diver Sarah Bacon competed in the U.S. Olympic trials throughout the week of June 6, finishing in third place with a total score of 912.10 across 15 dives throughout the preliminary, semifinals and the finals.
The four-time NCAA Champion fell just one spot short of qualifying for this year’s summer games behind winner Krysta Palmer (1011.95) and Hailey Hernandez (926.55).
Final Round – Saturday, June 12
On Saturday, Bacon trailed the top two divers, Palmer and Hernandez, by 87.15 and 25.90 points heading into the final round.
The Olympic hopeful competed in the final round and was 14.45 points short of qualifying for the Tokyo Olympic Games, finishing in third place with a total score of 912.10. The 25.90 point margin was too much to overcome with just five dives remaining.
However, the hometown native gave it everything she had; three of Bacon’s five dives scored a whopping 72.00 points or above. It was her best five-dive performance of the trials as she totaled 344.10.
Bacon got off to a hot start with a marvelous inward two-and-a-half somersault pike, earning 75.00 points from the judges after her rotation allowed her to enter the water with minimal splashes.
On dive two, Bacon over-rotated on her back somersault two and a half pike, causing her to enter the water slightly sideways. As a result, the judges deducted points from her score as she earned 55.50 points. The redshirt senior trailed Alison Gibson by 33.30 points, who held the second qualifying spot, heading into round three of dives.
Bacon continued sizzling on dive three, scoring an incredible 76.50 points on her reverse two-and-a-half somersault pike to cut Gibson’s 33.30 point gap to 19.80 heading into the fourth round of dives.
Following up her magnificent third dive, Bacon earned 65.10 points from the judges on her forward three-and-a-half somersault pike, continuing to cut the gap and trail new second place holder, Hernandez, by 18.95 points going into the last round of dives.
The Gophers veteran needed a massive score on her last dive that would give her a chance to finish in the second qualifying spot, and she did just that, scoring 72.00 points on her forward two-and-a-half somersault, one twist pike.
Unfortunately for Bacon, Hernandez scored 67.50 points on her last dive, and it was more than enough for her to hold onto the second-place qualifying spot.
An earlier miss in the preliminary round also proved costly in Bacon falling short of qualifying for the Tokyo Olympic Games this summer.
The semifinal round – Tuesday, June 8
On Tuesday evening, Bacon competed in the semifinal round and remained in fifth place after her ten dives with a total score of 568.00. This total allowed Bacon to make the top-12 cut to make the final round of the three-meter springboard finals, giving her a chance to represent Team USA at the Olympic Games this summer.
Bacon’s best dive of the semifinal was her first of the night. With her back toward the water, she jumped and completed an inward two-and-a-half somersault pike that earned her 67.50 points from the judges, the highest score she had through the preliminary and semifinal.
The hometown native also saw similar success on her second dive. Bacon executed her back two-and-a-half somersault pike that earned her a total score of 63.00 points from the judges, which was more than double what the judges awarded her after her miss in the preliminary round.
To complete Bacon’s semifinal round, she scored 57.35 on dive four with matching 54.00s on dives three and five.
The preliminary round – Tuesday, June 8
On Tuesday morning, Bacon competed in the preliminary round. She finished in fifth place with a total score of 272.15 through her first five dives. This total earned her the opportunity to advance and compete in the semifinal round.
The Olympic hopeful’s best score of the round came on dive four. Bacon dived gracefully toward the water, completing a forward three-and-a-half somersault pike that earned her a total score of 66.65 points from the judges.
Bacon found similar scoring success on her last dive of the preliminary. She executed a forward two-and-a-half somersault, one twist pike similarly impressing the judges as she did on dive four to earn a score of 63.00 points.
However, the redshirt senior had a miss on dive two that played a crucial role in her falling short of qualifying for the summer games. As Bacon launched off the springboard to complete her back two and a half somersault pike, she did not get a full rotation on her last somersault and nearly landed in the water horizontally. The judges awarded the dive a total of 27.00 points.
To round out Bacon’s preliminary scores, she earned 58.50 points on dive three and 57.00 on dive one. She trailed the lead diver, Hailey Hernandez, by 32.50 points heading into the semifinal round.