Every year, the Golden Goggles Awards celebrates the best in American swimming.
Zane Grothe graduated from Auburn in 2014 and is a member of IU's summer team. He will look to cap off his breakout season with a Golden Goggle award, as he was nominated for the Male Race of the Year category.
Grothe is being nominated for his performance in the 800-meter freestyle at the Pan Pacific Championships in Tokyo in August. Grothe moved to the front of the pack early on in the race, and once he took the lead, he never relinquished it. The former Hoosier swimmer held off Naito Ehara of Japan and Jordan Wilimovsky from the United States to win the gold medal.
Grothe finished the race with a time of 7:43.74, which set a new Pan Pacific Championships record, beating Australian Grant Hackett's time in 2002. In addition, Grothe’s swim was the second fastest time ever in the 800-meter freestyle by an American, finishing 0.14 seconds off the American record.
The gold medal Grothe won in the 800-meter freestyle at the Pan Pacific Championships was one of three medals he won that week in Tokyo.
Also nominated for the award is Michael Andrew in the 50-meter freestyle at the Pan Pacific Championships, Ryan Murphy in the 100-meter backstroke at the Pan Pacific Championships and Chase Kalisz in the 200-meter individual medley at the Pan Pacific Championships.
Two other Hoosiers were nominated in the Relay Performance of the Year category: senior Zach Apple and postgraduate Blake Pieroni. Both Apple and Pieroni were part of the men’s 4x200-meter freestyle relay at the 2018 Pan Pacific Championships. The U.S. won the race with a time of 7:04.36. Pieroni had a 1:47.63 split, and Apple had a split of 1:46.20.
The 4x200 men’s freestyle relay was nominated against the men’s 4x100 medley relay at the 2018 Pan Pacific Championships.
The Golden Goggles will be awarded Nov. 19 at the Sheraton New York Times Square Hotel.