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King shines, Hoosiers finish top-10 at NCAA Championships



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IU swimmer Lilly King swims to a gold medal in the women's 100 breaststroke Aug. 8, 2016, at the Olympic Aquatic Stadium in Brazil. King won Big Ten Female Athlete of the Year for the second-straight season on Thursday. Tribune News Service Buy Photos

After being ranked within the top 10 all year long, the IU women's swimming and diving team backed up their ranking with a top-10 finish in the NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships which concluded Saturday night in Columbus, Ohio.

While they placed in the top 10 for the third straight year, the No. 9 Hoosiers were looking for more this year than year's past. The eighth place finish marks the ninth top-10 NCAA finish in school history. 

Despite not performing how they wanted as a team, multiple individuals shined throughout the Championships. Most notably, junior Lilly King. 

King has been doing this all year long so it was no surprise to most when she completed her historic season by setting U.S. records at the NCAA Championships. 

The NCAA Championships feature the best swimmers and divers in the nation and King proved to be the best of all time in the 200 breaststroke. She won her third straight title in the 200 breaststroke with a time of 2:02.60, the fastest time in U.S. history. 

King is the only woman in history to break the 2:03.00 mark, which also broke the American, NCAA, NCAA Meet, U.S. Open, Big Ten and IU records. 

King also earned All-American status after her performances in the 100 breaststroke, 200 medley relay and 400 medley relay.

This win marks King’s sixth total breaststroke title, the most of any woman in Big Ten history. In NCAA history, she’s currently tied with Rebecca Soni of USC and Kristy Kowal of Georgia. King has one more year of eligibility as a senior to pass both Soni and Kowal.

In the diving well, junior Jessica Parratto placed seventh in the platform dive, earning her All-American honors as well. This marks Parratto’s eighth All-American honor, after she earned others in the 3-meter dive and honorable mention in the 1-meter dive. 

King and Parratto weren't the only Hoosier swimmers and divers to earn All-American honors. Eleven different swimmers and divers were named All-Americans in their respective events.

This list includes freshmen Grace Haskett and Mya Kraeger and sophomores Maria Paula Heitmann, Casey Jernberg and Shelby Koontz. Junior Christine Jensen earned two, senior Delaney Barnard earned one and seniors Kennedy Goss and Ali Rockett both earned three. 

Jernberg finished ninth overall in the 1,650 freestyle with a career best time of 15:55.10. The time marked the seventh fastest in school history. 

While the season is over for the IU women swimming and diving team, it was a year marked with historic finishes and broken U.S. records. 

The team will come back next season with little turnover and talent loaded in underclassmen, only three of the NCAA All-Americans were seniors, providing room for growth in the offseason for the younger swimmers and divers. 

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