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IU swimming and diving picks up awards in recent weeks



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IU swimmer Lilly King swims to a gold medal in the women's 100-meter breaststroke Aug. 8, 2016, at the Olympic Aquatic Stadium in Brazil. King was one of four Hoosiers to pick up an individual honor before this weekend's meet in Tennessee.  Courtesy of Tribune News Service Buy Photos

The 2017 USA Swimming Golden Goggle Awards ceremony was held at the J.W. Marriot hotel in Los Angeles on Nov. 19, and multiple Hoosier swimmers were in attendance. 

Senior Blake Pieroni, junior Lilly King and head swimming Coach Ray Looze were all nominated for Golden Goggle awards and King ended up winning both her nominations. 

King won Female Race of the Year for her performance in the 100m breaststroke final at the 2017 FINA World Championships in Budapest, Hungary. She ended up finishing with a world record time of 1:04.13, breaking the old world record by two tenths of a second. 

The other Golden Goggle King added to her trophy collection was for the Relay Performance of the Year, which came in the 4x100m medley relay at the FINA World Championships. This performance was a world record for King and teammates Kathleen Baker, Kelsi Worrell and Simone Manuel, as they won the gold medal in the event.

These two victories for King bring her tally to three total Golden Goggles after winning the Breakout Performer of the Year last season. King was also one of two swimmers to win two awards, the other being Florida swimmer, senior Caeleb Dressel. 

King was the only Hoosier to win any hardware in Los Angeles, as Pieroni and Looze didn’t win their respective categories. 

Looze was nominated for Coach of the Year after four of his swimmers made it on the U.S. roster with all of them landing on the podium at the FINA World Championships. Stanford women’s swimming coach, Greg Meehan, beat Looze and won the Coach of the Year, after leading Katie Ledecky and Stanford to a national title. 

On the men’s side, Pieroni was nominated for the 4x100m freestyle relay at the FINA World Championships, where the U.S. led wire-to-wire and won the race for the first time since 2009. 

King beat out Pieroni and his American teammates for the Relay Performance of the Year. 

However, that wasn’t the only recent recognition for the IU swimming and diving team, as King and Pieroni were named Big Ten swimmers of the week for their work at the Purdue Invitational, which occurred from Nov. 16 to Nov. 18.

King led IU to a win over all eight teams at Purdue to claim the victory after winning the 200 IM (1:55.96), the 100m breaststroke (59.12) and the 200m breaststroke (2:10.99). 

Pieroni earned the honor by winning both his events, the 100m freestyle (42.10) and 200m freestyle (1:32.33), with his 200m time being the fastest in the nation this season.

Despite Pieroni’s dominant performance, the No. 1-ranked Hoosiers lost to No. 3 Florida at the Purdue Invitational and placed second overall. 

Two other IU swimmers earned national recognition as freshman Grace Haskett and Bruno Blaskovic were named the Big Ten Freshman of the Week. 

Haskett won the 50m (22.19) and 10m freestyle (48.72) events and was a part of the 400 freestyle relay team that won the event with a time of 3:16.60. Blaskovic placed second in both the 50 and 100 freestyle and also took fourth in the 100 butterfly. 

The No. 1/9 IU men's and women's swimming and diving teams get a few weeks off but will be back in the pool Dec. 20, when the team travels to Tempe, Arizona, to take on No. 11/24 Arizona State. 

TC Malik 

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