On this annual column that includes Indiana athletes in Olympic sports activities, decisions are at all times tough. That was very true of 2021, the 12 months of the lady.
How so? I couldn’t discover room for 11 feminine medalists with Indiana ties from the Tokyo Olympics, notably golden girls akin to volleyball participant Annie Drews and sprinter Lynna Irby.
Following are 22 honorees in professional, school and highschool classes. Fifteen are swimmers or divers:
Trying forward:24 Hoosiers to observe forward of 2024 Paris Olympics
>> Gold: Molly Seidel, marathon. In an inspirational run to Tokyo bronze, the Notre Dame graduate completed mere seconds behind two Kenyans whose marathon bests have been practically 10 minutes sooner than hers. “That is unimaginable stuff. I can’t imagine what we’re watching,” mentioned NBC analyst Kara Goucher, a former Olympic marathoner. Three months later, Seidel was fourth at New York in 2:24:42, a private greatest — regardless of two damaged ribs. USA Monitor & Subject honored the 27-year-old as breakthrough performer of the 12 months.
>> Silver: Lilly King, swimming. Indiana College graduate from Evansville was upset at Tokyo in her specialty, the 100-meter breaststroke, during which she took bronze. At 200 meters, King unexpectedly gained silver in probably the greatest swims of her profession. The Hoosier additionally gained a 3rd medal with silver in 400 medley relay.
>> Bronze: Lee Kiefer, fencing. Notre Dame graduate gained Olympic gold in foil, beating defending champion Inna Deriglazova of Russia 15-13. Kiefer, 27, is four-time NCAA champion and three-time Olympian.
>> Gold: Zach Apple, swimming. Former IU sprinter anchored Workforce USA to gold medals in 400 freestyle and 400 medley relays. “That final leg by Zach was simply unimaginable, simply dropping the hammer,” IU coach Ray Looze mentioned after Apple’s 46.69 anchor within the freestyle relay. The Individuals set a world report in medley with a 14th consecutive gold and USA Swimming’s relay efficiency of the 12 months.
>> Silver: Michael Hixon, diving. Former IU diver gained his second silver in synchronized 3-meter, teaming with Hoosiers’ Andrew Capobianco. Their rating was 23 factors behind China however practically 40 forward of bronze medalist Germany. Hixon grew to become second Hoosier diver to medal in two Olympics. (The opposite was Mark Lenzi on particular person 3-meter in 1992 and 1996.)
>> Bronze: Blake Pieroni, swimming. Pieroni, additionally a former IU sprinter, teamed with Apple within the 400 freestyle relay. Not since 1972, with John Murphy and Mark Spitz, had two Hoosiers gained Olympic gold collectively on this occasion. Pieroni (2016, 2021) joined Spitz (1968, 1972) as Hoosiers with two golds on this relay.
>> Gold: Sarah Bacon, diving. Cardinal Ritter graduate didn’t qualify for Olympics . . . however did the whole lot else. Minnesota diver was Massive Ten athlete of the 12 months, NCAA champion on 1- and 3-meter and first diver to win Honda Award for swimming/diving. In a pre-Olympics occasion, Bacon’s silver made her first U.S. feminine springboard diver to win a World Cup medal since 1989.
>> Silver (tie): Emma Nordin and Kelly Pash, swimming. Each state champions from Carmel. Nordin, who redshirted at Arizona State, was fifth in 400-meter freestyle at Olympic Trials. In a Might meet at Indianapolis, she clocked 4:04.60, quick sufficient to have made the U.S. workforce. Pash, of Texas, was sixth and fifth in 100 and 200 butterfly, respectively, at Olympic Trials.
>> Bronze: Tarrin Gilliland, diving. As IU freshman, she was NCAA champion on 10-meter. She was injured and unable to compete at Olympic Trials.
>> Gold: Cole Hocker, observe and area. Twenty-year-old Cathedral graduate was one in every of three finalists for Bowerman Award, the observe model of the Heisman Trophy. As an Oregon sophomore, he gained a NCAA mile/3,000-meter double indoors and the 1,500 open air. Hocker broke the Olympic 1,500 report at Tokyo and completed sixth in 3:31.40 (a 3:47 mile).
>> Silver: Andrew Capobianco, diving. Earlier than collaborating with Hixon for synchro silver, the IU diver climbed from sixth to second in final spherical of U.S. trials to make Olympic workforce on particular person 3-meter. He was Massive Ten diver of the 12 months, NCAA 3-meter champion and tenth at Tokyo.
>> Bronze (tie): Drew Kibler and Jake Mitchell, swimming. They grew to become first Olympians from Carmel’s achieved swim program, and each made Tokyo finals. Kibler, high scorer for Texas’ NCAA champions, was on 800 freestyle relay workforce ending fourth. Mitchell, a Massive Ten champion for Michigan, was eighth in 400 freestyle after dramatically qualifying for Tokyo in a solo time trial at Olympic Trials.
>> Gold: JoJo Ramey, swimming. As Fishers sophomore, she didn’t win a state title, however she was a breakout star on the Olympic Trials — seventh within the 200-meter backstroke as a 16-year-old. Her time of two:08.90 ranked seventeenth on the earth. Briefly course, she gained a World Cup silver medal in Berlin and was fifteenth on the earth.
>> Silver: Keagan Rothrock, softball. Nationwide participant of the 12 months as a sophomore in main 31-2 Roncalli to Class 4A state title. She had a 24-2 report and 0.13 ERA, that includes 364 strikeouts (and 6 walks) in 160 innings pitched. 5 excellent video games, seven no-hitters. She additionally batted .442. Pitched for Pan American junior gold medalists.
>> Bronze (tie): Addy Wiley, observe and area, and Daryn Wright, diving. Wiley, of Huntington North, grew to become first Indiana woman to win state titles at each 800 and 1,600 meters. Colorado-bound runner broke 5 state information throughout the 12 months, together with a 4:38.14 mile that was quickest in nation. Purdue signee Wright, of Plainfield, gained winter nationals on 10-meter to qualify for Might’s World Championships. She was eighth on the Olympic Trials and gained three junior Pan American medals.
>> Gold (tie): Tyler Downs and Josh Hedberg, diving. Downs, 18, skilled in Fishers forward of Olympics and made Tokyo workforce on 3-meter. He gained winter nationals on 1- and 3-meter as a Purdue freshman. Hedberg, 14, of Noblesville, was second in winter nationals on 10-meter and might be youngest male diver ever to symbolize United States at a World Championships. He was fourth at Olympic Trials.
>> Silver: Kamyren Garrett, observe and area. Lawrence Central excessive jumper led nation at 7 ft, 3 inches, gained nationwide indoor and state out of doors titles. Tied for thirteenth at Olympic Trials. Now a Kansas State freshman.
>> Bronze: Tucker Smith, observe and area. Columbus North junior practically grew to become state’s first 70-foot shot putter, hitting 69-4 ½ to rank No. 2 in nation. Set state meet report of 67-11 ½ with 5 throws exceeding 67 ft, all longer than earlier report. Oklahoma signee.
Contact IndyStar reporter David Woods at [email protected] Observe him on Twitter: @DavidWoods007.