Katie Ledecky was honored as the top female swimmer for the sixth straight year, while Ryan Murphy took home three prizes at USA Swimming's Golden Goggles awards.
NEW YORK (AP) — Katie Ledecky was honored as the top female swimmer for the sixth straight year, while Ryan Murphy took home three prizes at USA Swimming’s Golden Goggles awards.
Ledecky and Murphy were honored Monday night In New York for their performances at 2018’s biggest meet, the Pan Pacific Championships.
The 21-year-old Ledecky won five medals at Pan Pacs , including repeat gold-medal performances in the 400-, 800- and 1500-meter freestyle events.
Also this year, she lowered her own world record in the 1,500 free at a meet in Indianapolis.
Murphy was the big winner with three Golden Goggles awards : male athlete of the year, male race of the year for his 100 backstroke victory at Pan Pacs and relay performance of the year for his part on the winning 4×100 medley relay team in Tokyo. He shared the relay award with Andrew Wilson, Caeleb Dressel and Nathan Adrian.
“I came into tonight totally not expecting that,” Murphy said. “One of the things that I feel like I’ve done over the years is right after I’ve had accomplishments, I’ve kind of looked to what’s next. So it is a little bit interesting to come back here and be able to take a deep breath while we’re in super hard training and look back on the summer.”
Following up his three gold medals at the 2016 Rio Olympics, the 23-year-old Murphy dominated Pac Pacs by winning the 100 back in 51.94 seconds — the third-fastest time in history — and taking gold in the 200 back in a personal best of 1 minute, 53.57 seconds.
He also swept all three backstroke events at the national championships.
“It’s a really good reminder of why we’re training so hard right now and what the benefits can be,” Murphy said.
Ledecky is a five-time Olympic gold medalist who figures to be among the big stars at the 2020 Tokyo Games.
She noted the Golden Goggles event benefits the USA Swimming Foundation, which offers free swim lessons focused on child safety and financial support to the U.S. national team.
“It’s a great honor and it’s always so much fun at Golden Goggles to celebrate the success of Team USA for the summer and the USA Swimming Foundation for all that they’ve done to save lives and build champions,” said Ledecky, who turned pro this year after two stellar seasons at Stanford. “It really is a great event that raises a lot for a great cause.”
Other award winners:
— Female race of the year: Kathleen Baker, 100 backstroke at Phillips 66 National Championships.
— Breakout performer of the year: Michael Andrew.
— Coach of the year: Greg Meehan.
— Perseverance Award: Micah Sumrall.
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