2020 Olympian Jillian Crooks Announces Commitment to Tennessee (2024)

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2020 Olympian Jillian Crooks is set to join her brother, Jordan Crooks, at the University of Tennessee in the fall of 2024. 

Jillian Crooks represented the Cayman Islands at both the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and the 2022 World Championships in Hungary. At the 2020 Olympics, she served as one of the country’s flag bearers, alongside fellow swimmer Brett Fraser. She owns national records in the 100m free, 50m back, 200m back, and 100m fly. 

Her older brother, Jordan Crooks, is currently a sophomore at Tennessee. He is coming off an extremely successful freshman year where he was Tennessee’s top scorer at NCAAs with 29.5 points. In his first short-course season ever, he surpassed Caeleb Dressel to become the fastest freshman in NCAA history in both the 50 free (18.53) and 100 free (41.24). 

Located in the Caribbean, the Cayman Islands are an archipelago that hosts a small swimming community of only 4 competitive swim teams. Crooks trains and competes with Caymana Bay Aquatic Club out of Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands. Last fall, Jillian Crooks completed her freshman year of high school at Homer High School in Alaska. After her short stint in Alaska, she moved to Florida where she began homeschooling and training with TS (Total Swimmer) Aquatics. 

With great excitement, I announce my verbal commitment to pursue my academic and swimming career at the University of Tennessee. I want to thank God, my parents, family friends, and coaches for supporting me.

“Oh, Rocky Top, you’ll always be

Home sweet home to me

Good ol’ Rocky Top

Rocky Top, Tennessee, Rocky Top, Tennessee!” – Dolly Parton

Let’s go Vols!”

Jillian Crooks is primarily a sprinter, but has range up to the 200. At the Tokyo Olympics, she competed in the 100m freestyle, where she finished 41st with a time of 57.32. This past summer in Budapest, she competed in both the 50 and 100 free, where she finished 41st and 29th. 

Top SCY Times: 

  • 50 free – 23.06
  • 100 free – 50.09
  • 200 free – 1:49. 49
  • 50 back – 25.73
  • 50 fly – 25.03
  • 100 fly – 55.06

Top LCM Times:

  • 50 free – 26.05
  • 100 free – 56.63
  • 200 free – 2:03.67
  • 50 back – 30.02
  • 50 fly – 38.72
  • 100 fly – 1:03.67

In addition to World Champs, Jillian Crooks competed at a slew of other meets this summer, including the Cary Futures. She set lifetime bests in the 50, 100, and 200 free, with her highest finish being 2nd in the 100 free. At the 2022 CARIFTA Championships in April, she won five out of her seven individual events, setting best times in the 100m fly, 200m back, 50m back, and 50m free. 

Last fall in Alaska, Jillian Crooks broke the state record in the 200 free by 0.17 for a 1:49.85. She also won the 100 free state title (50.70), and became Alaska’s second-fastest swimmer in the event behind Ila Hughes. 

At the 2022 SEC Championships, the Lady Vols beat Kentucky by 270.5 points to take home the SEC title. It took a 49.16 to advance to finals in the 100 free and a 22.55 to advance in the 50 free. Although Jillian Crooks’ best times are currently outside of SEC scoring range, she still has two years to continue to improve on her SCY times before arriving in Knoxville. 

Tennessee’s top sprinter last year was AJ Kutsch, who finished 12th at last year’s NCAA Championships in the 50 free. Though Kutsch is no longer on the roster, Tennessee returns a deep group of 100 freestylers, led by sophomore Julia Mrozinski and Jasmine Rumley, who should overlap with Jillian Crooks for a year. 

Jillian Crooks appears to be the Lady Vols’ first commit for their class of 2028. Molly Blanchard, Tori Brostowitz, Camille Spink, Emelie Fast, Laura Littlejohn, and Sophie Brison have announced their verbal commitment for the class of 2027.

If you have a commitment to report, please send an email with a photo (landscape, or horizontal, looks best) and a quote to [email protected].

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Rainforestt
2 months ago

Congratulations Jillian! Big things are in store for you.

Breezeway
2 months ago

Congrats!

swimmer
2 months ago

Need to understand how live in Caymans and Alaska

Admin
Reply to  swimmer
2 months ago

Pretty simple. Dress in layers.

Snarky
Reply to  Braden Keith
2 months ago

Snarky!

Curious
2 months ago

She’s about to pop off like her older brother. Great grab by the Vols

VFL
2 months ago

Let’s go! Think she’s going to be a big time swimmer in her four years on Rocky Top and the start to another big time class. Tennessee feels like International U right now.

Cayman Islands: Crooks
Canada: Douthwright, Rathwell, maybe Ella Jansen in the fold
Ireland: McSharry and Walshe
Germany: Morzinski
Sweden: Fast
New Zealand: Littlejohn
UK: Wetherell

Curious
Reply to  VFL
2 months ago

Lucoe transferring from Bama is from Canada and Bayley Davenport from South Africa add more diversity from the diving side of things.

Then you add in Spain, Peru, Uzbekistan, Germany, Canada, Austria and Cayman Islands for the men

ScovaNotiaSwimmer
Reply to  VFL
2 months ago

Did Ella Jansen take a recruiting trip there?

Swim Mama
Reply to  ScovaNotiaSwimmer
16 days ago

you probably know by now, but she has committed to UTK

Admin
Reply to  Swim Mama
16 days ago

(For those who don’t know, UTK is an acronym that means University of Tennessee – Knoxville, aka Tennessee. I think that acronym isn’t 100% known outside of SEC circles).