Swim and dive competitors win IU male and female athletes of the year

IU Athletics named its male and female athletes of the year on Wednesday.

Below is the full release from the school:


Indiana swimming and diving junior Brendan Burns and sophomore Tarrin Gilliland were named the recipients of the IU Athlete of the Year awards for the 2021-22 season in which each won an individual NCAA Championship.

“Congratulations to Tarrin and Brendan for their remarkable accomplishments this season and for being selected as our 2021-22 Athletes of the Year,” said IU Vice President and Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Scott Dolson. “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. 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. Congratulations to them both, and we’re excited that they’ll each be returning to represent IU again in 2022-23!”

Gilliland was named the CSCAA Women’s Diver of the Year, the Big Ten Women’s Diver of the Year and one of four finalists for the Honda Sport Award after repeating as the NCAA Champion in platform diving. The Midland, Texas, native became just the second athlete ever to repeat as platform diving champion during their freshman and sophomore seasons, joining Stanford’s Eileen Richitelli (1992-93). For a second-straight season, Gilliland was an All-American in all three diving disciplines, and in 2022 was one of two athletes to qualify for all three championship finals as she placed third on the 3-meter springboard and eighth on the 1-meter board. Gilliland was a top-four finisher in all three events at the Big Ten Championships, where she won her first-career Big Ten crown in platform diving as well as bronze on the 3-meter board. Gilliland led a men’s and women’s diving group that totaled 148 points at the NCAA meet, 37 points better than the next-best combined program. At USA Diving Winter Nationals in December, Gilliland won titles in both the mixed and women’s synchronized platform diving events.

“I am so proud of Tarrin for her accomplishments in the pool, the classroom and as a teammate,” IU head diving coach Drew Johansen said. “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!”

In March, Burns became IU’s first NCAA Champion in the 200-yard butterfly since 1973, joining a list full of Olympians. The junior from Berwyn, Pennsylvania, placed top 10 in five-of-five events at the national championships, adding two silver medal performances to his title. The month before, Burns was named the Big Ten Swimmer of the Championships after winning gold in all five events swam at the conference meet while leading the Hoosier men to their fourth Big Ten team title in six years. Burns set program records in the 200-yard butterfly (1:38.71) and 100-yard backstroke (44.15), earned first-team All-Big Ten honors and won four Big Ten Swimmer of the Week awards during the dual meet season. For his exploits, Burns was named the Big Ten Men’s Swimmer of the Year.

“It is such a humbling honor to have Brendan named Indiana University Male Athlete of the Year,” IU head swimming coach Ray Looze said. “He 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. Not only is he an amazing swimmer, but he’s a better person. We are lucky to have him as one of our leaders.”