IU men’s swimmers collect conference awards


Then-freshman, now-junior Bruno Blaskovic prepares to dive into the pool for the men's 100-meter freestyle finals on Jan. 20, 2018. Blaskovic and freshman Brendan Burns received Big Ten conference honors Wednesday. IDS file photo and Matthieu Picard

IU men’s swimmer Brendan Burns was named Big Ten Freshman of the Year and junior Bruno Blaskovic was announced as Big Ten Swimmer of the conference championships Wednesday.

Earlier this year, Burns and Blaskovic were both selected to the All-Big Ten First Team and announced as All-Americans by the College Swimming and Diving Coaches Association of America. 

The duo put on a dominant performance at the Big Ten Championships in Bloomington on Feb. 26-29. Both were members of the Big Ten champion 400-medley relay and 200-medley relay teams. Both times were Counsilman-Billingsley Aquatic Center records.

“I just put the work in throughout the year and trusted in the system that we have here at Indiana," Burns said. "We have a really unshakable support system here and with their help I was able to achieve what I wanted to achieve in Big Tens.”

Individually, Blaskovic was victorious in the 50-and 100-yard freestyle competitions. Burns finished first with a career-best time in the 200 butterfly. He also picked up a silver medal in the 100 backstroke and a bronze medal in the 100 butterfly. 

Both their performances led them to qualify for three individual events in the NCAA Championships scheduled on March 25-28 in Indianapolis before the meet was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

"Not having the NCAA experience in my freshman year was definitely disappointing, but it just makes me hungrier for next year," Burns said.

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