Indiana and Minnesota Earn Big Ten Women’s Swimming & Diving Honors
March 20, 2017
ROSEMONT, Ill. – The Big Ten announced the 2017 Big Ten Women’s Swimmer, Diver, Swimming Coach and Diving Coach of the Year awards, as voted on by the conference coaches. Indiana’s Lilly King was unanimously named Big Ten Swimmer of the Year, while Minnesota’s Yu Zhou was selected as Big Ten Diver of the Year. The Gohpers’ Wenbo Chen earned Big Ten Diving Coach of the Year, while Indiana’s Ray Looze secured Big Ten Swimming Coach of the Year plaudits.
King became the first swimmer or diver in Big Ten history to win four individual national titles at last week’s NCAA Championships. The sophomore took the NCAA gold in the 100-yard breaststroke, winning her second straight NCAA title in the event with a NCAA meet-record time of 56.71. King's time ranks as the second-fastest time in NCAA history and second all-time at IU. King also successfully defended her title in the 200-yard breaststroke, winning the NCAA championship with the best time in history – 2:03.18. King has now won both breaststroke titles the last two seasons. King's time reset the American, NCAA, NCAA meet, U.S. Open and IU school record she established last year and the mark also broke the IU Natatorium record. King is the first to win both the 100- and 200-yard breaststroke crowns in back-to-back years since Southern California’s Rebecca Soni in 2008-09. Earlier this season, King was named Big Ten Swimmer of the Championships after winning three individual Big Ten titles, as well as a gold medal with Indiana’s 400-yard medley relay and a silver medal with the Hoosiers’ 200-yard medley relay en route to first-team All-Big Ten accolades. King’s honor marks the eighth time an Indiana swimmer has earned Swimmer of the Year accolades.
Zhou earns Big Ten Diver of the Year for the third consecutive season after recording two top-five finishes at the 2017 NCAA Championships, finishing first in three-meter diving and fourth in the one-meter event. At the Big Ten Championships, Zhou swept the one- and three-meter diving events, and was named Big Ten Diver of the Championships for the third straight season. Zhou was named Big Ten Diver of the Week three times during the 2016-17 campaign, and claimed first-team All-Big Ten honors. Minnesota has claimed the Big Ten Diver of the Year award nine times, including seven of the last eight years.
Chen claimed Big Ten Diving Coach of the Year honors for the third consecutive season and fifth time with the Gophers. He also won the award in 2004 as the head diving coach at Purdue. Chen coached three divers who contributed 95 points to the Gophers’ 10th-place finish at the NCAA Championships, including Zhou, Sarah Bacon and Lexi Tenenbaum.
Looze collects Big Ten Swimming Coach of the Year accolades for the second consecutive season and the fifth time in his tenure as Indiana’s women’s coach, while also earning it once for men’s swimming. He led the Hoosiers to a second-place finish at the Big Ten Championships and an eighth-place finish at the NCAA Championships.