King, Scales named IU Athletes of the Year

An Olympic gold medalist and an All-American linebacker — Lilly King and Tegray Scales are Indiana’s 2016-17 Athletes of the Year.

The university honored King and Scales on Thursday, recognizing the duo for their contributions to the IU women’s swimming team and the Hoosiers’ football team.

“Reaching our highest athletic potential and winning championships is a top priority for IU Athletics and Lilly King and Tegray Scales represent true competitive greatness,” Indiana athletic director Fred Glass said in a statement.

King received worldwide notoriety last summer as Team USA’s star swimmer at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio, where she won a gold medal in the 100 breaststroke with an Olympic record time of 1:04.93. King was also a member of the United States’ gold medal-winning 4×100 medley relay team, and earned USA Swimming’s Golden Goggle Award for Breakout Performer of the Year.

King authored several more impressive performances at the college level, where the sophomore earned four All-America honors at the 2017 NCAA National Championships. She defended her individual titles in the 100 breaststroke and 200 breaststroke, and her time of 2:03.18 in the 200 breast set American, NCAA, NCAA Meet, U.S. Open, IU Natatorium and IU school records.

King also became the eighth Hoosier to win Big Ten Women’s Swimmer of the Year honors, and claimed individual titles in both breaststroke events, won the 200 IM and contributed to the winning 400 medley relay team at the Big Ten Championships.

As a junior linebacker, Scales was at the forefront of a transformative season for IU’s much-maligned defense.

Scales led the country with 93 solo tackles and 23.5 tackles for loss, while finishing first in the Big Ten with 126 total tackles.

Thos figures helped Scales earn second team All-America honors from SI.com, becoming the first IU linebacker named to an All-America team since Van Waiters in 1987.

Scales, who earned Defensive Player of the Game honors at the 2016 Foster Farms Bowl, also led the conference with nine double-figure tackle games. At one point, Scales strung together six consecutive 10-tackle games during the regular season, marking the longest streak nationally, the longest streak in the Big Ten since 2012 and the longest streak at IU since at least 1990.

“They are incredible athletes who serve as ideal standard bearers of our championship heritage,” Glass said. “Congratulations to Lilly and Tegray on being named IU Athletes of the Year.”