Olympian, World Record Holder Lilly King Entering the Professional World (VIDEO INTERVIEW)

Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

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2016 Olympian and world record holder Lilly King, the number one professional prospect coming out of this year’s NCAA meet, is now eligible to pursue professional swimming. The Indiana senior just put a cap on her final NCAA meet with an American Record in the 100 breast and the second fastest time ever in the 200. She concluded her college career with eight national titles, successfully sweeping both breaststroke events all four years.

Only two women have won four NCAA breaststroke titles. Stanford’s Tara Kirk swept the 100 from 2001-04 and USC’s Rebecca Soni swept the 200 from 2006-09. But no woman had ever won all eight.

“It’s pretty crazy,” King said. “To think we’ve come all this way, four years, I made it. Pro now. Pretty cool.”

King is now eligible to enter the professional ranks, but it won’t be a seamless transition. There’s a lot of moving parts that she will have to deal with in the next few weeks. Finding an agent, contacting suit companies. It’s all a part of the process but it is all exciting for King.

As for what suit company King will be wearing in the future, she didn’t give a definitive answer.

“I’m going to wear what I’m comfortable in, and hopefully that’s going to be the deciding factor for me.”

King will be joining a decorated pro group at Indiana that includes Olympians Cody Miller and Blake Pieroni and national team members Annie LazorMargo Geer and Zane Grothe. She credited a teammate like Miller for taking her under his wing and giving advice on going pro.

“Cody’s been such a helpful mentor for me in this process. He’s been through it for a lot longer. He’s found ways to make money that other people can’t, like his vlogs and using his personality, kind of capitalizing off that.

“I think just knowing that we have such a large group of pros that have been there and done that before me that can guide me on my way is pretty cool.”

And King isn’t planning on leaving Bloomington. Partly because she is still going to be student teaching this semester and next, and will graduate in December.

“I’m definitely staying in Indiana, 100 percent. That’s one thing that’s not changing. I will sit down with Mike (Westphal) and Ray (Looze) after men’s NCAAs and really have a pretty good long discussion about what the plan is, what I’m doing.”

Now that her college career is over, King can start to put all of her focus on swimming leading up to the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.

“It’s honestly crazy to me that it’s coming up so fast. After Rio, I honestly thought that we’d never get there, but here we are. We’re a little over a year out. Things couldn’t be going better.”

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Maureen Fluehr Carll
5 years ago

Awesome but make sure you get your degree.Go Lilly!

Ken Minneman
5 years ago

Maureen Fluehr Carll she just finished her senior year. She had one more semester of teaching left which she plans to complete.

Maureen Fluehr Carll
5 years ago

Ken Minneman ,ok, thought it said she graduates in December and had a couple of student teaching semester whatever she does, she’ll be great at it

Tanya Irving Mccormick
Tanya Irving Mccormick
5 years ago

Glad she committed the full 4 years to school before going pro. Smart move Lilly King.

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