Lilly King Wins The 2019 Honda Sport Award For Swimming & Diving

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Lilly King celebrates at the 2019 NCAA Championships, Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

Indiana senior and Olympic gold medalist Lilly King has been named the 2019 Honda Sport Award Winner for Swimming & Diving, which was announced in a press release from the Collegiate Women Sports Award (CWSA) today.

The Honda Sport Award is presented to the best female swimmer or diver of the college season, and makes King eligible for the Collegiate Woman Athlete of the Year award and the 2019 Honda Cup. King will go up against the 11 other NCAA sport award winner’s for those awards, which will be presented on a live telecast on CBS Sports Network June 24, 2019, at 6 pm PST in downtown Los Angeles.

King had another record-breaking year in her final collegiate season at Indiana, becoming the first woman to four-peat in the 100 and 200 breaststroke at NCAA’s and taking her 100 breast record all the way down to 55.73. Internationally, King is the world record holder in the long-course 50 and 100 breast and was a two-time gold medalist at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.

“I am thankful and humbled to be selected as the 2019 Honda Sports Winner for swimming,” said King in the CWSA press release.

“Just to be nominated along with three other incredible swimmers is an honor in itself. I would not be here if not for the love and support I have been given by my team, coaches, and professors at Indiana University. As the first Hoosier to win this award in 30 years, I truly am thankful for all the blood, sweat, and tears my IU family put in to helping me reach my dreams.”

King was one of four finalists for the Swimming & Diving Award. The other contenders included Louisville’s Mallory Comerford, Wisconsin’s Beata Nelson, and Cal’s Abbey Weitzeil. NCAA swimmers have had a solid streak with the Honda Cup in the last four years, as Missy Franklin (2015), Katie Ledecky (2017), and Simone Manuel (2018) have all won the award.

You can see the full press release from the CWSA below:

Lilly King, a senior from Indiana University, was named the Honda Sport Award winner for Swimming & Diving as announced today by Chris Voelz, Executive Director of THE Collegiate Women Sports Awards (CWSA).

The Honda Sport Award has been presented annually by the CWSA for the past 43 years to the top women athletes in 12 NCAA- sanctioned sports and signifies “the best of the best in collegiate athletics”.  With this honor, King becomes a finalist for the Collegiate Woman Athlete of the Year and the prestigious Class of 2019 Honda Cup which will be presented on a live telecast on CBS Sports Network on June 24, 2019, at 6 pm PT/9 pm ET, in downtown Los Angeles.

King was chosen by a vote of administrators from over 1,000 NCAA member schools. Finalists included Mallory Comerford (Louisville), Beata Nelson (Wisconsin) and Abbey Weitzel (California).

“I am thankful and humbled to be selected as the 2019 Honda Sports Winner for swimming,” stated King. “Just to be nominated along with three other incredible swimmers is an honor in itself. I would not be here if not for the love and support I have been given by my team, coaches, and professors at Indiana University. As the first Hoosier to win this award in 30 years, I truly am thankful for all the blood, sweat, and tears my IU family put in to helping me reach my dreams.”

A native of Evansville, Ind., King ended her collegiate career as one of the most decorated Hoosiers in program history. She is a two-time Big Ten Female Athlete of the Year and this was her fourth straight year on the Honda Awards ballot.

King is an eight-time NCAA Champion winning the 100 and 200 breaststroke crowns in all four years becoming the first woman in NCAA history to win eight NCAA breaststroke titles. The senior is a 16-time All-America honoree and a 16-time Big Ten Champion. She has been named to the first-team All-Big 10 in all four seasons.

Internationally, she won two Olympic gold medals in the 2016 Summer games and has won two individual world titles and two relay world titles at the 2017 FINA World Championships. She is a member of the 2019 U.S. Swimming National team.

“As one of the most prestigious awards in women’s athletics, the Honda Sport Award is a very rare honor bestowed upon any Indiana female athlete,” said head coach Ray Looze. “As only the fourth recipient in IU history, Lilly has distinguished herself in her community, at her university and in her sport at the highest levels. All Hoosiers are very proud of her and the legacy she has worked hard to establish over the last four years.”

Honda Sport Award winners will be presented with the honor during on-campus presentations throughout the year.

The CWSA, in its 43rd year, honors the nation’s top NCAA women athletes recognizing superior athletic skills, leadership, academic excellence and eagerness to participate in community service.  Since commencing its sponsorship in 1986, Honda has provided more than $3.1 million in institutional grants to the universities of the award winners and nominees to support women’s athletics programs at the institutions.

 

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