As reported by SwimSwam’s Anne Lepesant:
FEMALE RACE OF THE YEAR – KATIE LEDECKY, 200 METER FREESTYLE
Katie Ledecky was nominated for three races, the 200 meter freestyle, 800 meter freestyle, and 1500 meter freestyle, all swum at FINA World Championships in Kazan. Of the three, the 200 was probably her best race because it showed what an astonishing range she has. Ledecky added the 200 free to her repertoire this year and it wasn’t obvious that she would be able to pull it off. In winning the event in Kazan, Ledecky beat the reigning World Record-holder, Federica Pellegrini, by .16 with 1:55.16, as well as teammate Missy Franklin.
FEMALE ATHLETE OF THE YEAR – KATIE LEDECKY
Ledecky became the face of swimming in 2015, a household name known throughout the world. She made history in Kazan when she won 5 gold medals and broke three world records, by a combined 6 seconds.
RELAY PERFORMANCE OF THE YEAR – WOMEN’S 4×200 FREESTYLE RELAY AT WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS
Missy Franklin, Leah Smith, Katie McLaughlin, and Katie Ledecky won the Relay Performance of the Year Award for their phenomenal gold medal performance in the 800 free relay at FINA World Championships in Kazan. It was the Americans’ third consecutive victory in that race at Worlds, but it was hard-fought. Franklin was out in 1:55.95, followed by Smith in 1:56.86 and McLaughlin in 1:56.92. The USA trailed Sweden by .34 when Ledecky hit the water, but her 1:55.64 split left everyone in her wake, and Team USA earned the gold medal with a combined 7:45.37. We all love come-from-behind victories, and Ledecky’s final leg of the 800 free relay was classic Ledecky.
COACH OF THE YEAR – BRUCE GEMMELL
Bruce Gemmell won the Coach of the Year Award for the third consecutive year. Gemmell coached Katie Ledecky to her historic sweep of the 200-400-800-1500 freestyle gold medals at the 2015 FINA World Championships in Kazan, Russia. He is responsible for her expanding her range to include the 200 free. This year they have been working on going faster for longer periods of time; in effect, treating all her races like they are sprints – albeit a 30-lap sprint in the case of the 1500. But it is under Gemmell’s tutelage that Ledecky has pushed the limits and done things that no one before her has done.