Lilly King

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Lily King, a breaststroke specialist from Evansville, Indiana was born on February 10 1997. King started swimming at seven-years-old because she said it was the only thing to calm her down.

The self proclaimed Mcdonalds enthusiast comes from a sporting family. Her father, Mark was a track and cross country runner at Indiana State and her mother Ginny swam for Eastern Kentucky University and Illinois State University.

At 17-years-old, King finished sixth at the 2014 US Nationals and earned her first call up for the national team. She continued to climb the breaststroke ranks and burst on to the collegiate scene as a freshman at Indiana University.

High School

King has been on the USA swimming radar since a freshman at FJ Reitz High School and a member of Newburgh Sea Creatures. She won her first junior national title in the 100-yard breaststroke age 16 at the US Winter Junior Nationals. Her time of 59.67 was a new National Age Group record.

2014 Junior Pan Pacific Championships

After finishing 6th at the US nationals, King put on the Team USA uniform for the first time in her career at the Junior Pan Pacs. Her first international medal came in her signature event, 100-meter breaststroke. She took gold in a new meet record of 1:07.98. King and her USA teammates picked up another gold in the 4×100-meter medley relay in another meet record.

2015 World University Games

King took silver at US nationals, placing her on the National Team for a second consecutive year. Prior to her first semester on Indiana University campus, King competed at the World University Games. In South Korea, she picked up silver in the 100-meter breaststroke and bronze in the 4×100 medley relay. King also raced in 50-meter breaststroke, finishing 8th in the final.

Indiana University

Staying close to home, King began her collegiate career in her home state of Indiana as a Hoosier.

2015-2016

King stunned the collegiate swimming world at her first NCAA appearance. In the 100-yard breaststroke, she dived under the 57 second mark for the first time in history. Having already broken the NCAA, American and US Open records with a 57.15 in the prelims, she came back even faster in the finals to take the title in 56.85.

Her 200-yard breaststroke was nothing short of amazing either, as she sent records flying again. King managed to sweep all the 200 yard breaststroke records by almost half a second. She took gold almost three seconds ahead of her Hoosier teammate in 2nd.

2016 US Olympic Trials

King continued her explosive rise to the top by winning the 100M Breaststroke and becoming another first time Olympian. Her time of 1:05.20 puts her among the top in the World  this year and surely makes her a true contender for gold.

King added the 200m Breaststroke to her Olympic swims by winning the event with a time of 2:24.08, just .31 seconds ahead of second place finisher, Molly Hannis, another first time Olympian.

Olympic Medals – Katie Meili, Lilly King – 2016 Olympic Games in Rio -courtesy of simone castrovillari

2016 Rio Olympics

The 19 year old made a bold statement in the semifinals of the 100M Breaststroke to take top seed for the finals just two hundredths of a second over Russian Yulia Efimova.

Gold Medal swim in the women’s 100M Breaststroke by Lilly King, breaking the Olympic Record with a time of 1:04.93. She finished 63 one hundredths of a second ahead of second place finisher Yulia Efimova of Russia and 76one hundredths ahead of fellow American and bronze medal winner, Katie Meili.

2016-2017 NCAA Championships

King won the 100 breaststroke setting a Meet Record in the finals with a time of 56.71. She finished almost 1.5 seconds ahead of the second place competitor, Lindsey Horejsi. She helped Indian swim to a fifth place finish in the 4×100 Medley Relay, splitting a 56.17 on the breaststroke. In the 4×50 Medley Relay, King clocked a 25.62 on the breaststroke leg to help Indian to a fourth place finish. In the 200 Breast, King once again stood on top if the medal stand, setting NCAA, Meet, American, US Open and Pool Records with a time of 2:03.18.

2017 US World Team Trials

King won the 20om breast (2:21.83) just beating second place finisher Bethany Galat. King also won the 50m Breast setting a new US Open Record and LC National Meet Record with a time of 29.66. King then made it a breaststroke sweep, winning the 100m finals with a time of 1:04.95 setting a new meet record in the process. King will represent the US in all three events at the World Championships in Budapest later this summer.

Lilly King 2017 World Championships Budapest, Hungary (photo: Mike Lewis)

2017 World Championships

Day three of competition brought the highly anticipated showdown between King and Yuliya Efimova in the women’s 100 breaststroke, and it did not disappoint the crowd. King was out like a light, splitting 29.80 at the 50, and she surged through the 2nd 50 with the fastest back half of the field, splitting a 34.33 to clip the World Record with a 1:04.13. The former record stood at a 1:04.35 done by Ruta Meilutyte in 2009.

King’s 100 Breast World Record Splits:

  • 1st 50 Split- 29.80
  • 2nd 50 Split- 34.33
  • Final Time- 1:04.13

Day four King picked up another relay gold medal and World Record when she combined with Caeleb Dressel, Matt Grevers and Simone Manuel in the 4×100 mixed medley relay.  She split 1:04.15. Remarkably, King held her ground despite being the only female breaststroke leg in the field.

Day seven in the semi-final of the 50m breaststroke King broke the American record by .06, swimming a 29.60.

Day eight in the final of the 50m breaststroke King shaves more time, setting a new World Record, 29.40, and topping . Yulia Efimova for the gold. Efimova took the silver in 29.57. Katie Meili won bronze in 29.99.

Lilly King 2017 World Championships Budapest, Hungary (photo: Mike Lewis)

Day eight in the final of the 4×100 medley relay, Team USA’s Lilly King, Kathleen Baker, Kelsi Worrell, and Simone Manuel teamed up to set a World Record. Baker got the ball rolling on the backstroke split with a personal best 58.54 on the backstroke leg, marking the 5th fastest 100 back ever done by an American. King (1:04.48) kept it close as she battled once again down the stretch with Russia’s Yuliya Efimova (1:04.03), but the Russians took the lead through the halfway mark. On the fly leg, Worrell pulled the USA into the lead with her 56.30, making way for 100 free champ Manuel (52.23) to finish things off as they finished in 3:51.55. That took a half second off the former World Record, which stood as a 3:52.05 done by the USA in 2012.

TEAM USA 4×100 MEDLEY RELAY WORLD RECORD SPLITS

International Medals

Place Event Year Meet
Gold 400 Medley Relay 2017 World Championships
Gold 50 Breast 2017 World Championships
Gold 400 Mixed Medley Relay 2017 World Championships
Gold 100 Breast 2017 World Championships
Gold 100 Breast 2016 Olympic Games
Gold 400 Medley Relay 2016 Olympic Games

Best Times

Course Event Time Date Meet
scy 100 Breast 56.71 03/18/17 2017 NCAA D1 Championships
Indianapolis, Indiana
scy 200 Breast 2:03.18 03/19/17 2017 NCAA D1 Championships
Indianapolis, Indiana
scy 200 IM 1:57.21 02/18/16 2016 BIG 10 Championships
Ann Arbor, Michigan
lcm 50 Breast 29.40 07/30/17 2017 FINA World Championships
Budapest, Hungary
lcm 100 Breast 1:04.13 07/25/17 2017 FINA World Championships
Budapest, Hungary
lcm 200 Breast 2:21.83 06/28/17 2017 US World Championships Trials
Indianapolis, Indiana
Courtesy: Indiana Athletics