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Christen Harper Reacts to Sharing SI Swimsuit Rookie of the Year Title With Her Best Friend

The 29-year-olds are the first co-winners of the award.
Christen Harper arrives at the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Runway Show during Paraiso Miami Beach.

Christen Harper arrives at the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Runway Show during Paraiso Miami Beach.

Christen Harper isn’t just couple goals with her NFL fiancé Jared Goff, she’s also absolute BFF goals with fellow SI Swimsuit model Katie Austin.

The two women were just named co-Rookies of the Year based on their 2022 SI Swimsuit Issue appearances. Harper celebrated the news on Instagram with a heartfelt message.

“What an absolute insane honor to be named ROOKIE OF THE YEAR by @si_swimsuit along with my best friend @katieaustin,” the 29-year-old captioned her post. The video, reposted from the SI Swimsuit IG account, features pics of previous Rookie of the Year winners Katrina Scott, Josephine Skriver, Jasmine Sanders, Alexis Ren, Bianca Balti, Barbara Palvin, Kelly Rohrbach, Sara Sampaio and Kate Bock. The video then cuts to a clip of SI Swimsuit editor in chief MJ Day breaking the exciting news to both Austin and Harper. 

“This whole brand is what you guys represent—fabulous people supporting each other, doing their thing bigger and better all the time,” Day says on a video call. “Really motivated, smart individuals who keep creating opportunities for themselves and keep growing. You do it for each other, and you do it for random strangers and you do it for us. It’s pretty awesome. There’s never been two more worthy people.”

Austin, 29, and Harper applied to the 2021 Swim Search, an annual open casting call, and were among 13 finalists who were photographed in Atlantic City for that year’s issue. The duo were named co-Swim Search winners in September 2021 and were automatically invited back to shoot for the 2022 edition.

“As a young girl I greatly looked up to the women that were honored with this title,” Harper continued. “To think I’m in the same conversation as all the incredible women before me gives me chill and inspires me to work even harder and dream even bigger.

“So endlessly grateful to be a part of something so big and so important for woman everywhere. THANK YOU @si_swimsuit @mj_day !!!!”

Katie Austin and Christen Harper attend the 2022 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit launch event.

Katie Austin and Christen Harper attend the 2022 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit launch event.

Austin chimed into the comment section with the perfect BFF response. “I love you foreva and eva,” she wrote. “Can’t wait to get matching ROTY tats ;)”