BLOOMINGTON, IN (AP) - The Indiana University Department of Athletics announced on Monday that senior women's swimmer Lilly King, senior swimmer Ian Finnerty and men's soccer's Grant Lillard have been named IU's 2017-18 Athletes of the Year.
"Competing and excelling on the biggest athletic stages is a top priority for IU Athletics, and Lilly King, Ian Finnerty and Grant Lillard have clearly done that," said IU Vice President and Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Fred Glass. "What is equally impressive is how they each combined their extraordinary individual achievements with tremendous team success on the Big Ten and NCAA levels. Congratulations to all three for being very deserving recipients of our IU Athlete of the Year award."
King, a three-time recipient of the award, became just the third person in Big Ten history to be named the league's Female Athlete of the Year more than once.
The six-time NCAA champion successfully defended her titles in both the 100 and 200 breaststroke in 2018, posting the fastest times in history in both events and becoming the first woman in Big Ten history to win three-straight national championships in league history.
"One of the most impressive attributes of Lilly King is her amazing level of consistency, IU head swimming coach Ray Looze remarked. "She is a true winner in every sense of the word. Hard worker, outstanding leader, confident, and unbelievably passionate in her commitment to Indiana University. As the reigning world record holder in four different events, she is truly one of the premier athletes on the face of the planet."
King's six NCAA crowns are the most for any woman in Big Ten history and also matches Rebecca Soni of USC and Kristy Kowal of Georgia's NCAA record of six total breaststroke titles.
Along with her two championships, King earned four All-America honors, helping the Hoosiers place eighth overall at the NCAA Championships – the third-straight top-10 finish for Indiana.
Along with her NCAA titles, King was named Big Ten Swimmer of the Year for the third time and also earned her third-straight First-Team All-Big Ten selection. King is also a two-time Academic All-Big Ten honoree.
At the 2018 Big Ten Championships, King won two individual league titles, sweeping the breaststroke events for the third-straight season, and also helped IU win crowns in the 200 and 400 medley relays. For her career, King is a 12-time Big Ten champion.