American swimmer Katie Ledecky missed out on winning an ESPY Award on Wednesday evening at the 2018 ESPN-produced awards show for athletes. She was nominated for Best College Athlete, which in 2018 was a combined-gender award after honoring separate male and female College Athletes of the Year in prior editions.
The ESPY Awards, which stand for Excellence in Sports Yearly, is ESPN‘s annual awards program. The majority of the awards, including the one that Ledecky was nominated for, are decided in part by an online fan vote.
The 2018 College Athlete of the Year honor went to former University of Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield.
The 2017 Heisman Award winner as the country’s best college football player, Mayfield won the award with 3rd-highest percentage of votes in the award’s history history. He led Oklahoma to its third-straight Big 12 Championship, ranked 2nd in the NCAA FBS with 4,627 passing yards in 2017, and led NCAA FBS with a 198.9 passer rating. Oklahoma finished the season with a 12-2 record, losing to Georgia 54-48 in the semi-finals off the College Football Playoff.
Ledecky, who turned pro after her redshirt sophomore season, is already one of the most-decorated female swimmers in history at just 21-years old. She owns 5 Olympic gold medals and one bronze, plus 14 World Championships across 3 editions. Her 14 total individual titles at the Olympics and long course World Championships are the most by any female swimmer in history.
She was not-unblemished at her 2018 college championship, however. While she won the 500 and 1650 frees, her best events among those on the NCAA D1 schedule, she took on the 400 IM (a race she hasn’t yet tried internationally) instead of the 200 free. While she broke the American Record in the event at Pac-12s, her teammate Ella Eastin won the race at NCAAs in 3:54.60 – three-and-a-half seconds faster than Ledecky, and the fastest time in history. Eastin won all 3 of her individual events at NCAAs and swam the fastest-ever time in each at some point in the season, and also added two winning relays.
Ledecky added a relay title in the 800 free relay, but only swam one relay at NCAAs: as compared to the two she swam as a freshman.
In her first race as a pro, at the Pro Swim Series stop in Indianapolis, Ledecky broke the World Record in the 1500 free.