King named Big Ten Female Athlete of the Year — again

Lilly King has done it again.

The Indiana University swimmer was named the 2017-18 Big Ten Female Athlete of the Year on Thursday, becoming only the third person — man or woman — to win the award in back-to-back seasons.

King is also just the third person in conference history to earn the honor more than once. Last year, King became the first woman in IU history to be named Big Ten Female Athlete of the Year. She joins an elite list of Hoosiers who have received the league’s athlete of the year award, including Jim Spivey (1982), Sunder Nix (1984), Steve Alford (1987), Anthony Thompson (1990) and Derek Drouin (2013).

The Big Ten has recognized a Jesse Owens Male Athlete of the Year since 1982 and first honored a Female Athlete of the Year in 1983. The Big Ten Athletes of the Year are selected by a panel of conference media members from nominations submitted by each institution.

“Lilly has, in just three years, cemented herself as one of the best female athlete in Indiana University history,” IU swimming coach Ray Looze said. “It’s hard to believe she has yet another year remaining to achieve even more. We are so fortunate to have her come into our lives. She is a true pleasure to coach every day.”

The six-time NCAA champion successfully defended her titles in both the 100 and 200 breaststroke in 2018, posting the fastest times in history in both events and becoming the first woman in Big Ten history to win three-straight national championships in league history.

King’s six NCAA crowns are the most for any woman in Big Ten history and also matches Rebecca Soni of USC and Kristy Kowal of Georgia’s NCAA record of six total breaststroke titles.

Along with her two championships, King earned four All-America honors, helping the Hoosiers place eighth overall at the NCAA Championships – the third consecutive top-10 finish for Indiana.

Along with her NCAA titles, King was named Big Ten Swimmer of the Year for the third time and also earned her third-straight First-Team All-Big Ten selection.

At the 2018 Big Ten Championships, King won two individual league titles, sweeping the breaststroke events for the third-straight season, and also helped IU win crowns in the 200 and 400 medley relays. For her career, King is a 12-time Big Ten champion.

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