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2017 U.S. FEMALE SWIMMER OF THE YEAR: KATIE LEDECKY
A star is marked by their ability to win, even when they aren’t competing at their best. Katie Ledecky, who was notably off of her lifetime bests this summer in Budapest at the 2017 World Championships, was dominant nonetheless.
Three individual golds at the World Championships is a feat understated by many– Michael Phelps has the most individual golds with fifteen in history, and Ledecky is tied with Ryan Lochte for 2nd in history with ten. Ledecky won world titles in the 400 free, 800 free, and 1500 free, tying Sweden’s Sarah Sjöström with three individual titles, and added relay golds in the 4×100 free relay and 4×200 free relay.
Ledecky also won the 500 yard free and 1650 yard free NCAA titles by significant margins, while tying with Mallory Comerford in her third event, the 200 free.
In no particular order
- Lilly King – King was the queen of the 50 and 100 breaststrokes at the 2017 World Championships, winning gold in both races and setting new WRs in both, too. She also won golds on the mixed and women’s 4×100 medley relay, both of which set new WRs.
- Simone Manuel – Manuel shocked the field in the women’s 100 free, taking down world record holder Sarah Sjöström and taking the American record to new heights. She was also incredibly consistent on the end of American relays all week in Budapest, and in the spring, she swam a jaw-dropping 45.56 in the 100y free.
- Mallory Comerford – She tied Katie Ledecky in the 200 free at NCAAs. Then, she broke Simone Manuel‘s 100 free LCM American record at US Nationals, and held onto it until Worlds when Manuel would re-claim it. Comerford also swam on every mixed or women’s relay, racing at least in prelims and on most occasions in finals, winning golds in all of them and helping break the mixed 4×100 free relay WR.