Two-time Olympic gold medalist Caeleb Dressel, who this year joined Michael Phelps as the only swimmers to win seven world titles at a single FINA World Championships, was named USA Swimming Athlete of the Year on Saturday during the United States Aquatic Sports Convention in Dallas.
Dressel, 21, is the first swimmer in history to win three world championships on a single day, accomplishing the feat on June 29 by winning the 50-meter freestyle, 100-meter butterfly and mixed 400-meter freestyle relay.
The Cove Springs, Florida, native also won 2017 world titles in the 100-meter freestyle, 50-meter butterfly, 400-meter medley relay and 400-meter freestyle relay during the world championships in Budapest, Hungary, setting American records in the 50-meter freestyle, 100-meter freestyle and 50-meter butterfly.
He is the first U.S. male swimmer to win at least three individual world titles since Ryan Lochte in 2011.
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Lilly King, a two-time Olympic gold medalist who set a world record with her world championship-winning performance in the women’s 100-meter breaststroke, won the Phillips 66 Performance of the Year Award.
The late Chuck Wielgus, former executive director of USA Swimming who passed away in April due to complications from colon cancer, received the 2017 USA Swimming Award.
Ashley Twichell won the Female Open Water Swimmer of the Year for winning a world title in the women’s 5-kilometer, and Jordan Wilimovsky received the Fran Crippen Male Open Water Swimmer of the Year for winning silver in the men’s 10-kilometer.
The U.S. roster for the World University Games – Taylor Abbott, Katy Campbell, David Herron and Becca Mann – received the Open Water Excellence Award for individuals making the greatest contribution to open water swimming. The team opted not to compete on race day due to high water and air temperatures in Taipei.
Ron Aitke of Sandpipers of Nevada was named USA Swimming Development Coach of the Year.
The remaining 2017 award winners includes:
Adolph Kiefer Safety Commendation Award: Priscilla Davis
Trischa L. Zorn Award: Aspen Shelton
James Raymond “Jimi” Flowers Disability Coach of the Year: Nathan Manley (Paralympic Resident Team)
Outstanding Disability Service Award: Stuart Zook
Make a Splash Hero Award: Fort Worth Drowning Prevention Coalition
Safe Sport Impact Award: John Morse
Diversity Inclusion Award: Miriam Lynch (Nation's Capital Swim Club)
Kenneth J. Pettigrew Award: Dick and Lucy Duncan (Indiana Swimming)
Athletes’ Appreciation Award: Chuck Wielgus
Gary R. Blockus is a journalist from Allentown, Pennsylvania who has covered multiple Olympic Games. He is a freelance contributor to TeamUSA.org on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc.