Katie Ledecky’s Performance of the Year, Athlete of the Year Honor Among Awards Bestowed By USA Swimming

JACKSONVILLE, Florida, September 20. FOR the second consecutive year, Olympic gold medalist and world record-holder Katie Ledecky (Bethesda, Md.) was named the USA Swimming Athlete of the Year and claimed the Phillips 66 Performance Award for her record-breaking performance in the 1,500-meter freestyle at the Pan Pacific Championships. The awards were presented at the United States Aquatic Sports Convention on Saturday.

This summer, Ledecky posted five world-record swims over a two-month stretch, capped with world records in the 400m free and 1500m free on back-to-back nights at the 2014 Pan Pacific Championships in Gold Coast, Australia. After eclipsing her own world-record marks in the 800m free and 1500m free at The Woodlands Swim Team Senior Invitational in late June, she took possession of the 400m free world record for the first time with a time of 3:58.86 at the 2014 Phillips 66 National Championships. In the process, she became the first woman to hold the 400m, 800m and 1500m free world records at the same time since the legendary Janet Evans. At Phillips 66 Nationals, Ledecky won titles in the 200m, 400m and 800m free to earn her spot on the Pan Pacs roster.

Ledecky became the first woman to win four individual Pan Pacs gold medals as she topped the podium in the 200m, 400m, 800m and 1500m free, with an additional gold as the anchor in the 800m free relay. Over the final two nights of competition at Pan Pacs, Ledecky broke her 400m free record by nearly a half second with a time of 3:58.37 and took an amazing six seconds off her 1500m free record with a time of 15:28.36.

The 2014 USA Swimming Award was presented to Ellaine Cox. The USA Swimming Award is the highest honor in the sport of swimming, given to the individual or organization with the most outstanding contribution to the sport.

The South Bend, Indiana, resident was presented a USA Swimming Lifetime Membership in 2007 by Indiana Swimming. Her involvement with the Indiana Swimming Board of Directors includes work as the organization’s Awards Chair, OVC Chair, Swim-a-thon Chair and Administrative Vice Chair.

A longtime chair of the USA Swimming Awards Committee, Cox has also presided over the annual United States Aquatic Sports Convention Committee since 1997. She served as an official for numerous regional and national meets, while also contributing to the USA Swimming Site Selection/Facilities Committee. Her involvement at the club level began in the late 1970s with the Michiana Marlins.

In open water swimming, three awards were presented. Pan Pacific Championships and U.S. Nationals gold medalist Haley Anderson (Granite Bay, Calif.) was named the Female Open Water Swimmer of the Year while Pan Pacs winner and 10k National Champion Andrew Gemmell (Wilmington, Del.) was named the Fran Crippen Memorial Male Open Water Swimmer of the Year. Gregg Cross was presented with the Glen S. Hummer Award, given to the person making the greatest contribution to open water swimming for the year.

For the second straight year, Ledecky’s coach, Bruce Gemmell of Nation’s Capital Swim Club, was honored last week as the American Swimming Coaches Association Coach of the Year. Two coaches earned the USA Swimming Developmental Coach of the Year honor, with Dave Marsh of SwimMAC Carolina and Dynamo Swim Club’s Jason Turcotte sharing the award.

In disability swimming, eight-time Paralympic medalist Cortney Jordan (Henderson, Nev.) earned the Trischa L. Zorn Award. The award is presented for the outstanding performance of the year by an adapted swimmer.

The Adolph Kiefer Safety Award was presented to Trish Van Pilsum and My Fox 9 Twin Cities for their story “Drowning is Silent.” Click here to view this impactful story, which helped raise drowning prevention awareness in the Twin Cities area.

USA Swimming Director of Safe Sport Susan Woessner was awarded the Athletes’ Appreciation Award at the USA Swimming House of Delegates session on Friday. The award recognizes the individual or organization perceived by the committee to have contributed most significantly to the Athletes’ Movement.

A complete list of winners:

Female Open Water Swimmer of the Year: Haley Anderson
Fran Crippen Memorial Male Swimmer of the Year: Andrew Gemmell
Glen S. Hummer Award: Gregg Cross
Adolph Kiefer Safety Commendation Award: Fox 9 Twin Cities
Trischa L. Zorn Award: Cortney Jordan
James Raymond “Jimi” Flowers Disability Coach of the Year: Kristi Moore
Outstanding Disability Service Award: Bill Jerome
Make a Splash Hero Award: Gordon Hair
Safe Sport Impact Award: Bob Kizer
Diversity Inclusion Award: Robert Trotman and Rodger McCoy
Kenneth J. Pettigrew Award: Julie Bare
ASCA Coach of the Year (Presented at the ASCA Convention): Bruce Gemmell
Developmental Coach of the Year: David Marsh and Jason Turcotte
Athletes’ Appreciation Award: Susan Woessner
Phillips 66 Performance of the Year Award: Katie Ledecky, 1500m Free – 2014 Pan Pacific Championships
USA Swimming Athlete of the Year: Katie Ledecky
USA Swimming Award: Ellaine Cox

The above article is a press release submitted to Swimming World. To reach our audience, contact us at newsmaster@swimmingworldmagazine.com.