2019 Golden Goggles Awards: Regan Smith, Caeleb Dressel Rack Up Awards in Los Angeles

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Photo Courtesy: Brent Rutemiller

The 2019 Golden Goggles Awards show was tonight in Los Angeles, California as USA Swimming was celebrating the year 2019 on Sunday night. There were eight awards up for grabs tonight and the winners are all listed below. Swimming World’s Taylor Brien was in the venue at the JW Marriott at LA Live and was providing photos from the red carpet and sending social media updates to Instagram (@swimmingworldmag).

Regan Smith and Caeleb Dressel were the big winners on the night as they claimed the race of the year honors. Smith also won the breakout performer of the year and was a part of the relay performance of the year. Her coach Mike Parratto was named the coach of the year.

Dressel and Simone Manuel were named as athletes of the year as most of USA Swimming’s World Championships team was on hand to celebrate the year a few days before everyone will be spending time with family for Thanksgiving.

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2019 Golden Goggles Award Winners:

Female Athlete of the Year 

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Photo Courtesy: Taylor Brien

Simone Manuel won the female athlete of the year after she won the 50 and 100 free at the World Championships and becoming the most decorated woman swimmer in a single World Championships, taking seven medals overall. Manuel also won gold medals in the women’s 4×100 medley relay and mixed 4×100 free relay and also won silver in the women’s 4×200 free, 4×100 free, and the mixed medley relay.

  • Lilly King
  • Katie Ledecky
  • Simone Manuel
  • Regan Smith

Male Athlete of the Year 

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Photo Courtesy: Taylor Brien

Caeleb Dressel won male athlete of the year after being the only nominee for his eight-medal performance at the World Championships. However, he reassured in his speech that he only won four medals and did not want to take credit for the four relay medals he won in Korea, saying he was only a 25% part of those events.

  • Caeleb Dressel

Relay Performance of the Year

The women’s medley relay won the Golden Goggles award for best relay as they were the only relay world record broken by the Americans at the meet. The US women actually broke American records in all three relays, winning gold in the medley and silver in both free relays. The team of Regan SmithLilly KingKelsi Dahlia and Simone Manuel were on hand to celebrate the award, and also gave plaudits to prelims swimmers Olivia SmoligaMelanie MargalisKatie McLaughlin and Mallory Comerford.

Coach of the Year

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Photo Courtesy: Brent Rutemiller

Mike Parratto wins coach of the year as the Parratto-Regan Smith duo is cleaning up the awards tonight in Los Angeles. Parratto has notably coached Jenny Thompson, who was on hand to present the award.

  • Jack Bauerle – coached Olivia Smoliga, Hali Flickinger, Jay Litherland to medals
  • Ray Looze – coached Lilly King and Blake Pieroni to medals
  • Greg Meehan – coached Katie Ledecky, Simone Manuel and Katie Drabot to medals
  • Mike Parratto – coached Regan Smith to two world records
  • Gregg Troy – coached Caeleb Dressel to a world record

Perseverance Award

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Photo Courtesy: Taylor Brien

Nathan Adrian wins the award after his tumultuous year where he was diagnosed with testicular cancer in January and was out of training for a significant time. Adrian used his time in front of the audience to raise awareness to men’s health and thanked the people who helped him through his cancer treatment this year. Adrian was able to anchor the gold medal winning 4×100 free relay team at the World Championships just two months after his first meet after cancer. He was still able to split a 47.0 on the relay, showing he was still in good shape despite undergoing cancer treatment for a good part of the year.

  • Nathan Adrian –  came back to World Championships after cancer diagnosis in January.
  • Katie Ledecky – came back to win gold in 800 free after battling through illness which caused her to scratch out of the 1500 final and 200 free.
  • Ashley Twichell – made first Olympic team at age 30 in 10K open water

Breakout Performer of the Year

Regan Smith claimed her second award of the night, this time taking the breakout performer of the year award. This is Smith’s third year on the national team as she was eighth at Worlds in 2017 in the 200 back and third at Pan Pacs in 2018 in the 200. She broke out this year with a gold in the 200 back at Worlds and had a world record to boot.

  • Hali Flickinger – finished second at Worlds in 200 fly
  • Jay Litherland – won first international medal with silver in 400 IM
  • Hannah Moore – won first international medal on first Worlds trip in 5K
  • Regan Smith – broke two world records and won 200 back gold medal

Male Race of the Year 

Caeleb Dressel was crowned as male race of the year for his 100 butterfly world record, which was the first of his career in long course meters. Dressel said in his speech that he had been feeling a lot of pressure heading into the 2019 World Championships and admitted to getting so down on himself after bad practices that he was frequently in tears. What followed was one of the most impressive performances in World Championships history where he was crowned male swimmer of the championships.

  • Caeleb Dressel50m Freestyle (2019 FINA World Championships) – broke American record
  • Caeleb Dressel100m Freestyle (2019 FINA World Championships) – became first swimmer to break 47 in textile
  • Caeleb Dressel50m Butterfly (2019 FINA World Championships) – won first individual gold medal for Team USA
  • Caeleb Dressel100m Butterfly semifinals (2019 FINA World Championships) – broke first LCM world record of career held by Michael Phelps
  • Jay Litherland400m IM (2019 FINA World Championships) – nearly ran down Japan’s Daiya Seto

Female Race of the Year

Regan Smith won the first Golden Goggles award of the night for the 200 back world record she picked up in the semi finals of the World Championships. It was the first world record of her career and it lowered Missy Franklin’s record in the process. Smith gave a heartful thank you to her coach Mike Parratto, who is up for coach of the year tonight, for “doing all the work” and that all she does is show up and do what he tells her to do.

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Regan Smith; Photo Courtesy: Taylor Brien

  • Simone Manuel100m Freestyle (2019 FINA World Championships) – won from lane 1 after experts counted her out
  • Katie Ledecky800m Freestyle (2019 FINA World Championships) – came back to win gold after battling through illness which caused her to scratch out of two events.
  • Olivia Smoliga50m Backstroke (2019 FINA World Championships) – won first long course gold medal
  • Regan Smith200m Backstroke semifinals (2019 FINA World Championships) – broke first world record in career
  • Lilly King100m Breaststroke (2019 FINA World Championships) – won second straight world title and remained unbeaten since 2016 Olympics

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