Andy Bayer, Allysa Vavra named IU Athletes of the Year

Indiana’s Andy Bayer, the NCAA Track and FIeld champion at 1,500 meters, and Allysa Vavra, the Big Ten Women’s Swimmer of the Year, were named Indiana’s Athletes of the Year on Monday. The release from IU sports info:

IU Athletics Announces Athletes of the Year

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – The Indiana Department of Athletics has announced that senior swimmer Allysa Vavra and redshirt junior runner Andy Bayer as the 2012 Indiana Athletes of the Year.

“Allysa and Andy represent what Indiana Athletics is all about: not only great athletes, but great students and young people with great character and values,” said IU Vice President and Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Fred Glass. “We are proud of them and their accomplishments.”

Vavra finished eighth in the 200-yard individual medley at the NCAA Championships, earning All-American honors. Her time of 1:55.58 in prelims is the second fastest in school history. She followed that up with a fifth-place finish in the 400-yard individual medley with a time of 4:01.73, the second-fastest time in school history and an All-American performance. Her prelim time of 4:02.81 is the third-fastest time in school history.

Vavra also competed in the 200-yard breaststroke at the NCAA meet, placing seventh for All-America honors with a time of 2:09.61.

At the Big Ten Championships, Vavra defended her title in the 200 IM with a Big Ten meet record and school record time of 1:55.44. She won the Big Ten Championship in the 400 IM by more than 10 seconds, posting a Big Ten record time of 4:01.41. Vavra also took third in the 200 breaststroke at the Big Ten meet with a school-record time of 2:08.79.

For her senior season Vavra won two Big Ten titles, posting top-eight finishes in three events at the NCAA Championships and set school records in the 200 breaststroke, 200 IM and 400 IM.

“What a tremendous honor for Allysa Vavra,” said Ray Looze, IU Head Swimming Coach. “With so many outstanding teams here are Indiana, our staff is humbled that Allysa would receive such recognition for our athletic department. She has come a long way as a person and has bright future!”

Bayer has had one of the best years in history, earning All-America honors in three seasons, winning three Big Ten individual titles, leading Indiana to a Big Ten team title and claiming IU Athletics’ 141st NCAA Individual title. An All-American in cross country, Bayer led the Hoosiers to seventh at the NCAA Championships. The junior followed up that performance with an amazing indoor season.

At the Big Ten Indoor Championships, Bayer won the mile and 3,000m Big Ten titles, leading the Hoosiers to the first Big Ten team title since 1992. Bayer scored 26 points at the Big Ten meet, outscoring last-place Purdue all by himself, and was named Track Athlete of the Big Ten Championships. Bayer followed up that performance by anchoring the Hoosiers to second in the distance medley relay and taking fifth in the mile at the NCAA Championships. Bayer helped the Hoosiers to sixth place as a team at the indoor national meet.

In the outdoor season, Bayer took the 1,500m Big Ten title, helping the Hoosiers to a third-place finish. At the NCAA Championships, Bayer dove across the line to win the 1,500m title over two-time NCAA Champion Miles Batty of BYU. Bayer is the 45th track and field NCAA champion in school history and the 141st NCAA Individual Champion in the history of IU Athletics. The junior will run at the U.S. Olympic Trials in Eugene, Ore., later this month.

“Andy has gone above and beyond all season for the team,” said Ron Helmer, Director and Head Coach of IU Track and Field. “What he did at the Big Ten Indoor Championships was remarkable, and we would not have won a Big Ten title without him. He has proved this year that he is one of the best runners in the country.”