Ryan Lochte wins athlete of year

Updated: September 16, 2011, 9:59 PM ET
Associated Press

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Ryan Lochte has received USA Swimming's athlete of the year award, capping a season in which he won five gold medals at the world championships and became the first swimmer to break a world record since polyurethane suits were banned.

Lochte was honored at USA Swimming's convention in Jacksonville, Fla., on Friday night.

He set a world mark of 1:54.00 in the 200-meter individual medley at the world meet in China, which also earned him the performance of the year award.

The family of Fran Crippen, the open water swimmer who died in a race in Dubai last October, was honored with the Athletes' Appreciation Award recognizing the individual who contributed most significantly to the athletes' movement.

Crippen's personal coach, Richard Shoulberg, was given the USA Swimming Award for making the most outstanding contribution to the sport. Crippen's sister, Maddy, was given the Glen S. Hummer Award for making the greatest contribution to open water swimming.

Ashley Twichell and Alex Meyer received the female and male open water swimmers of the year awards. Mallory Weggemann and Marcus Titus shared the award for outstanding performance of the year by disabled swimmers.


Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press