Cardinal corner: Ledecky named USOC's Female Athlete of the Year

Stanford sophomore Katie Ledecky was named Female Olympic Athlete of the Year by the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) on Wednesday. Photo courtesy of Stanford Athletics.

Stanford sophomore swimmer Katie Ledecky was named Female Olympic Athlete of the Year by the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) on Wednesday.

"I am very honored and grateful to receive this recognition from the U.S. Olympic Committee and also wish to thank USA Swimming and all of the fans who supported Team USA throughout the year," Ledecky said. "Thanks also to my coaches and teammates--all of whom make it such a privilege to compete for Team USA and Stanford."

Ledecky is the first three-time winner (2012-13, 2016, 2017) of the USOC's annual Female Athlete of the Year award since its inception in 1974.

She joins Lindsay Vonn (2009 and 2010) and Jackie Joyner-Kersee (1986 and 1987) as the only other female athletes to receive the award in consecutive years. Other two-time winners of the award (non-consecutively) were Tracy Caulkins, Bonnie Blair, Picabo Street, and Katie Hoff.

Ledecky had arguably the best freshmen season in the history of collegiate swimming. Over the course of her first year at Stanford, Ledecky set five individual American records and seven individual NCAA records in three different events, and broke Stanford team records in five different individual events en route to five All-America honors.

She became just the second freshman to win the Honda Cup. In addition, she won six medals at the world championships to become the most decorated female swimmer in worlds history.

Ledecky and Stanford went 3-0 in dual meets during the fall and resume competition with a pair of home meets against Arizona (Jan. 19) and Arizona State (Jan. 20).

The team will host an autograph session after the meet against Arizona State.

Men's swimming

Stanford's men's swimming and diving team opened the Texas Hall of Fame Invitational with a fourth-place finish in the 800-yard free relay on Wednesday night.

"Tonight's result was a little different from the start we had last year, but that can be attributed to our much more demanding training cycle this fall," Stanford coach Ted Knapp said. "I am confident we are going to get better every day as the meet goes on."

Grant Shoults, William Macmillan, James Murphy and Liam Egan (6:19.93) represented Stanford in the 800 free relay, the only event of the night.

Women's soccer

Thirteen members of Stanford's top-ranked women's soccer team were named Pac-12 All-Academic it was announced Wednesday.

Michelle Xiao was the lone Cardinal on the first team, and Jaye Boissiere, Kyra Carusa, Averie Collins, Alana Cook, Tierna Davidson, Jordan DiBiasi, Beattie Goad, Alison Jahansouz, Mariah Lee, Carly Malatskey, Tegan McGrady and Andi Sullivan were each honorable mentions.

— Palo Alto Online Sports/Stanford Athletics

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