Gators represented in Golden Goggles nominations

Three past and present Gators were nominated for the 2011 Golden Goggle Awards, presented by the USA Swimming Foundation to the top swimmers and coaches over the past year. Former Gator Ryan Lochte (Daytona Beach, Fla.), All-American Elizabeth Beisel (North Kingstown, R.I.) and head coach Gregg Troy are among the choices for fans to select from at for various awards until November 18.

The current 200 IM world record holder, Lochte, tied the lead for all swimmers with four nominations across three categories: Relay Performance of the Year, Male Performance of the Year, and Male Athlete of the Year.

The five-time 2011 World Champion swam the final leg of the men’s 4×200-meter freestyle relay with Michael Phelps, Peter Vanderkaay, and Ricky Berens. He was able to secure the gold medal with a 1:44.56 time to defeat France.

Lochte has two nominations in the Male performance of the year category. His 200 free and 200 IM swims at the FINA World Championships in Shanghai, China, made the ballot. The six-time Olympic medalist was the first swimmer to set a world record after polyurethane suits were banned when he won the 200 IM with a 1:54.00. He also faces Phelps for Male Athlete of the Year.

Current Gator Elizabeth Beisel is nominated for Perseverance, Female Performance of the Year, and Female Athlete of the Year.

Beisel is the only woman and collegiate athlete to appear on the list for the Perseverance award. It is given to a swimmer who has come back from adversity, retirement, illness, injury and so forth.

The sophomore was nominated for her win in the 400 IM at the 2011 FINA World Championships. This was her first individual world title and with a 4:31.78 had the fastest time in the event since polyurethane suits were banned. This time also put her in the Florida record books with the fastest time ever swam in that event by a Gator.

Beisel faces Missy Franklin, Rebecca Soni, and Dana Vollmer for Female Athlete of the Year.

Florida head coach Gregg Troy goes against Bob Bowman (North Baltimore), Teri McKeever (Cal Aquatics), Todd Schmits (Colorado Starts), and Dave Salo (Trojan Swim Club) for Coach of the Year. All the coaches have helped a swimmer to an individual World Championship title in 2011.

Troy has been nominated for Coach of the Year every year since 2006. He won it for the first time last year after being the head coach for the U.S. men’s team at the 2010 Mutual of Omaha Pan Pacific Championships, who won 21 medals.

The Golden Goggles celebrate the accomplishments of American Swimming. The awards ceremony will be on November 20 in Los Angeles, Ca. featuring the 2011 FINA World Championship U.S. swim team. The event is also a fundraiser for the USA Swimming Foundation. The Foundation supports Make a Splash, a safety campaign to encourage children to learn how to swim, and the U.S. National Team. 

The complete list of 2011 awards and nominees: 

Breakout Performer of the Year

Alex Meyer

Tyler McGill

Ashley Twichell

Perseverance Award

Elizabeth Beisel

Alex Meyer

Peter Vanderkaay

Coach of the Year

Bob Bowman

Teri McKeever

Dave Salo

Todd Schmitz

Gregg Troy

Relay Performance of the Year

Women’s 4×200 Free Relay (FINA World Championships)

Men’s 4×200 Free Relay (FINA World Championships)

Women’s 4×100 Medley Relay (FINA World Championships)

Men’s 4×100 Medley Relay (FINA World Championships)

Female Performance of the Year

200 Backstroke (FINA World Championships) – Missy Franklin

100 Breaststroke (FINA World Championships) – Rebecca Soni

100 Butterfly (FINA World Championships) – Dana Vollmer

400 IM (FINA World Championships) – Elizabeth Beisel

Male Performance of the Year

200 Freestyle (FINA World Championships) – Ryan Lochte

200 Butterfly (FINA World Championships) – Michael Phelps

200 IM (FINA World Championships) – Ryan Lochte

Female Athlete of the Year

Elizabeth Beisel

Missy Franklin

Rebecca Soni

Dana Vollmer

Male Athlete of the Year

Ryan Lochte

Michael Phelps

Gator Country reporter Sara Ladwig can be reached at