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IU's Lilly King named Big Ten Female Athlete of the Year



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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

IU swimmer Lilly King has added yet another award to her already growing list of accomplishments during her time as a Hoosier.

On Thursday, it was announced King had been named the 2018 Big Ten Female Athlete of the Year for the second-straight season, joining this year's Big Ten Male Athlete of the Year, Ohio State wrestler Kyle Snyder, as a repeat winner.

When King won her first Big Ten Female Athlete of the Year award last year, it marked the first time an IU women's athlete had been awarded the honor.

During her junior season this past year, the two-time Olympic gold medalist was dominant once again as she won the NCAA Championship in the 100 and 200-yard breaststroke races for the third year in a row.

She also finished first at the Big Ten Championship in the 100-yard breaststroke, 200-yard breaststroke, 200-yard medley relay and the 400-yard medley relay.

During her time in Bloomington, King has been named the Big Ten Swimmer of the Year for three straight years, and is a 12-time All-America honoree, six-time NCAA Champion, 12-time Big Ten Champion and two-time Academic All-Big Ten honoree.

Her six career NCAA Championship wins are the most of any female swimmer in Big Ten history and her six NCAA Championship breaststroke titles are tied for the NCAA record held by Rebecca Soni of the University of Southern California and Kristy Kowal of Georgia.

"Lilly has, in just three years, cemented herself as one of the best female athlete in Indiana University history," IU head swimming Coach Ray Looze said in an IU press release. "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."

To win this year's award, King had to best a field of nominees that included Illinois volleyball player Jordyn Poulter, Iowa basketball player Megan Gustafson, Maryland lacrosse player Megan Whittle, Michigan basketball player Katelyn Flaherty, Michigan State golfer Sarah Burnham, Minnesota track and field athlete Kaitlyn Long, Nebraska volleyball player Kelly Hunter, Northwestern diver Olivia Rosendahl, Ohio State basketball player Kelsey Mitchell, Penn State volleyball player Haleigh Washington, Purdue track and field athlete Brionne Thomas, Rutgers soccer player Casey Murphy and Wisconsin track and field athlete Georgia Ellenwood.

King is just the sixth IU athlete to earn the distinction since the men's award's inception in 1982 and the women's award in 1983. 

The other Hoosiers to win it include Jim Spivey (1982), Sunder Nix (1984), Steve Alford (1987), Anthony Thompson (1990) and Derek Drouin (2013).

Murphy Wheeler

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