American swimmer Katie Ledecky has been named the 2017 AP Female Athlete of the Year. The honor comes in a whirlwind year where Ledecky finished her freshman season at Stanford with 5 titles in March, and then went on to win 5 gold medals and 1 silver at the 2017 World Aquatics Championships in Budapest.
In the process, while Ledecky didn’t break any World Records, she did set American Records in 3 individual events and as a part of 3 relays.
Ledecky is the first collegiate athlete to win the award since 1995 when UConn basketball player Rebecca Lobo won it, and the first swimmer to win since Amy Van Dyken in 1996.
The award is voted on by AP Sports Editors across the United States. While athletes of all nationalities are eligible, Americans have won the vast majority of the awards. The men’s honor has been won by swimmers 4 times, which includes most recently Michael Phelps in 2008 and 2012.
Update: The 2017 AP Male Athlete of the Year is Jose Altuve, who plays professional baseball for the Houston Astros.
Final AP Female Athlete of the Year Voting, 2017:
- Katie Ledecky – 351 points
- Serena Williams – 343 points
- Allyson Felix – 248 points
All-Time Swimmers Who Won the AP Female Athlete of the Year Award
- 1931 – Helene Madison
- 1937 – Katherine Rawls
- 1942 – Gloria Callen
- 1944 – Ann Curtis
- 1962 – Dawn Fraser (Australia)
- 1969 – Debbie Meyer
- 1996 – Amy van Dyken