A pair of athletes from the Indiana swimming and diving program — junior swimmer Brendan Burns and sophomore diver Tarrin Gilliland — were named recipients of the 2021-2022 IU Athlete of the Year awards. Both Burns and Gilliland won individual NCAA Championships this past season.
"Our men's and women's swimming and diving programs have produced some of the most accomplished competitors in the history of their sports, and Tarrin and Brendan very much belong in that distinguished group,” IU Athletic Director Scott Dolson said in a release. “From their individual NCAA Championships this season to the leadership role they each played in helping our men's and women's programs to tremendous success at the Big Ten and NCAA Championships, they have excelled on the biggest stages.”
Burns won Indiana’s first NCAA Championship in the 200-yard butterfly since 1973, took home two silver medals and placed top-10 in all five events at the championships. He currently holds the school record for the 200-yard butterfly with a time of 1:38.71, as well as the 100-yard backstroke at 44.15 seconds.
"(Brendan) has worked hard to become one of the top swimmers in the NCAA, and he authored one of the most surprising upsets in the history of our sport by becoming our first swimmer to win the 200 butterfly since the early 1970s,” head swimming coach Ray Looze said in the release. “Not only is he an amazing swimmer, but he's a better person. We are lucky to have him as one of our leaders."
Burns was named Big Ten Swimmer of the Year for his performances during both the regular season and championship meet. He won the gold medal in all five events at the championships and led the Hoosier men to their fourth Big Ten team title in six years.
Gilliland also received conference MVP honors, winning Big Ten Diver of the Year, as well as College Swimming & Diving Coaches Association of America Diver of the Year and finalist honors for the Honda Sport Award. For the second straight season, Gilliand also earned All-American honors and qualified for the NCAA Championships in all three diving disciplines.
Gilliland won her second consecutive NCAA platform diving championship in 2022, joining Stanford University’s Eileen Richitelli as the only athlete to repeat as the platform diving championship during his or her freshman and sophomore years. Richitelli’s championships came in 1992 and 1993.
"I am so proud of Tarrin for her accomplishments in the pool, the classroom and as a teammate," head diving coach Drew Johansen said in the release. "Winning back-to-back platform titles in the NCAA is one of the hardest things to do in our sport. Tarrin has made huge strides from freshman to sophomore year, and I can't wait to see what she does next."