Gophers diver Sarah Bacon was named Big Ten Female Athlete of the Year on Wednesday after winning two more NCAA championships this spring, bringing her career total to four.
Bacon joined Rachel Banham (2016), Amanda Kessel (2013) and fellow diver Gretchen Hegener (1997) on the list of Gophers who've been named Big Ten Female Athlete of the Year. This' year's Big Ten Male Athlete of the Year award went to Iowa's Luka Garza.
"I couldn't be more honored to receive this award," Bacon said in the news release. "There are so many incredible female student-athletes in the Big Ten, it's just amazing to receive this honor among them. I have to thank my coaches and teammates, as well as my family and friends for helping me along the way."
An Indianapolis native, Bacon won the 1-meter and 3-meter diving competitions at the NCAA championships in March. She had previously won NCAA titles in the 1-meter in 2018 and 2019.
She was named CSCAA Division I Women's Diver of the Year and just missed out on the Olympics. In June, Bacon finished third in both the 3-meter and women's synchronized 3-meter competitions at the U.S. Olympic diving trials, with the top two earning a berth in the Summer Games in each event.
"Sarah is so deserving of any and all recognition she gets after the career she has had," Gophers swimming and diving coach Kelly Kremer said in the news release. "She now has such a massive place in our history that we'll need to build a room specifically for her!"
FORMER B1G FEMALE ATHLETE OTY AWARD WINNERS
1983 - Judi Brown, Michigan State, track & field
1984 - Lisa Ishikawa, Northwestern, softball
1985 - Cathy Branta, Wisconsin, cross country/track & field
1986 - Stephanie Herbst, Wisconsin, cross country/track & field
1987 - Jennifer Averill, Northwestern, field hockey/lacrosse
1988 - Suzy Favor, Wisconsin, cross country/track & field
1989 - Suzy Favor, Wisconsin, cross country/track & field
1990 - Suzy Favor, Wisconsin, cross country/track & field
1991 - Julie Farrell-Ovenhouse, Michigan State, diving/Joy Holmes, Purdue, basketball
1992 - MaChelle Joseph, Purdue, basketball
1993 - Lara Hooiveld, Michigan, swimming
1994 - Kristy Gleason, Iowa, field hockey
1995 - Laura Davis, Ohio State, volleyball
1996 - Olga Kalinovskaya, Penn State, fencing
1997 - Kathy Butler, Wisconsin, track & field / Gretchen Hegener, Minnesota, swimming
1998 - Sara Griffin, Michigan, softball
1999 - Stephanie White-McCarty, Purdue, basketball
2000 - Lauren Cacciamani, Penn State, volleyball
2001 - Katie Douglas, Purdue, basketball
2002 - Christie Welsh, Penn State, soccer
2003 - Perdita Felicien, Illinois, track & field
2004 - Kelly Mazzante, Penn State, basketball
2005 - Jennie Ritter, Michigan, softball
2006 - Tiffany Weimer, Penn State, soccer
2007 - Jessica Davenport, Ohio State, basketball
2008 - Hannah Nielsen, Northwestern, lacrosse
2009 - Maria Hernandez, Purdue, golf
2010 - Megan Hodge, Penn State, volleyball
2011 - Shannon Smith, Northwestern, lacrosse
2012 - Christina Manning, Ohio State, track & field
2013 - Amanda Kessel, Minnesota, ice hockey
2014 - Dani Bunch, Purdue, track & field
2015 - Taylor Cummings, Maryland, lacrosse
2016 - Rachel Banham, Minnesota, basketball
2017 - Lilly King, Indiana, swimming
2018 - Lilly King, Indiana, swimming
2019 - Megan Gustafson, Iowa, basketball
2020 - Dana Rettke, Wisconsin, volleyball
2021 - Sarah Bacon, Minnesota, diving