Caeleb Dressel, Michael Phelps Win Awards at USAS Awards Banquet

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Michael Phelps and Caeleb Dressel received awards at the USAS Banquet. Photo Courtesy: Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports

Caeleb Dressel was awarded the athlete of the year honor on Saturday at the 2019 USAS Convention Banquet in St. Louis. This is Dressel’s second time winning the award as he also won in 2017. He won six gold medals and two silvers at the World Championships this year in Gwangju, South Korea, becoming the first swimmer to ever win eight medals in a single World Championships. However, Dressel’s achievements have been slightly skewed with the addition of the mixed relays to the World Championship lineup in 2015, as well as the addition of the 50 stroke events in 2001.

Nonetheless, Dressel’s performance at the World Championships is still worthy of appraisal.

The athlete of the year award is presented to the athlete judged by the USA Swimming House of Delegates as the most outstanding swimmer of the previous year.

Athlete of the Year Winners (This Decade)

  • 2010: Ryan Lochte
  • 2011: Ryan Lochte
  • 2012: Missy Franklin
  • 2013: Katie Ledecky
  • 2014: Katie Ledecky
  • 2015: Katie Ledecky
  • 2016: Katie Ledecky
  • 2017: Caeleb Dressel
  • 2018: Katie Ledecky
  • 2019: Caeleb Dressel

Dressel also broke the world record in the 100 fly at the Worlds to take down Michael Phelps’ 2009 record. Dressel also won golds in the 50 and 100 free and 50 fly, breaking American records in all three events at the World Championships. He led off both gold medal winning 4×100 free relay teams (men’s and mixed) and swam butterfly on both the silver medal winning medley relay teams.

Michael Phelps was awarded the USA Swimming Award for his contribution to the sport over the years. Phelps has notably won 28 medals at the Olympic Games and his impact on the sport itself has been unmatched.

Phelps is the first swimmer to win the award since Mary T. Meagher won in 1989.

The USA Swimming Award was established in 1981 to recognize exceptional contributions to the sport of swimming. The award is presented each year to an individual or organization selected for financial, material or service contributions to USA Swimming. The award is a two-thirds life-size bronze sculpture of a swimmer mounted over a wave of marble.

USA Swimming Award Winners (This Decade)

  • 2010: Adolph Kiefer
  • 2011: Dick Shoulberg
  • 2012: B. Wells O’Brien
  • 2013: Ron Van Pool
  • 2014: Ellaine Cox
  • 2015: Rowdy Gaines
  • 2016: Travis Tygart
  • 2017: Chuck Wielgus (posthumously)
  • 2018: Carol Burch
  • 2019: Michael Phelps

Neither Phelps or Dressel were present at the USAS Awards Banquet to receive the award, but Dressel’s mother was there on Caeleb’s behalf. Phelps’ wife recently had a third child so he was not in attendance.

Other Awards Given Out:

  • Max Ritter Award: Dale Neuberger
  • USMS Coach of the Year: Richard Garza
  • Capt. Ransom Arthur Award: Jeff Roddin
  • Synchro Athlete of the Year: Anita Alverez
  • Synchro Coach of the Year: Andrea Fuentes
  • Lillian MacKellar Distinguished Service Award: Sue Baross Nesbitt

1 comment

  1. Mike McCool

    Another well deserved award for a Great Young Man, Congratulations Caeleb!