p>In one week, swimming's biggest stars will descend on New York City's Times Square for the 2012 Golden Goggle Awards on November 19. Along with superstars Michael Phelps, Rebecca Soni, Ryan Lochte and Missy Franklin, local Olympian Katie Ledecky is one of 21 swimmers and coaches nominated for this year's awards.
Ledecky is up for two awards: Breakout Performer of the Year and Female Performance of the Year for her inspiring gold medal swim in the 800-meter freestyle at the London Olympic Games.
The 15-year-old distance phenom stunned everyone at Olympic Trials when she led from start to finish in the 800 free to earn herself a spot on the U.S. Olympic team. It was a lifetime best by over six seconds. A month later, when many expected Britain's Rebecca Adlington to defender her 2008 Olympic gold medal in the event, Ledecky again surprised everyone by taking an early lead that she never relinquished earning gold and breaking the American record.
While certaintly a front-runner, Ledecky faces tough competition for both awards. The Breakout Performer category is a who's who of journeymen and inspiring stories. In the performance category, three of the five women nominated broke the world record in their event.The fourth posted the fastest time ever in a textile suit while breaking the American record.
Fans can vote online for their favorites in each category. The online ballot contributes 5% to the final poll once combined with the votes from the Golden Goggles voting panel.
Also keep an eye
on the Male Athlete of the Year category where Ryan Lochte and Michael Phelps will once again compete for this year's award. Lochte has won the award the last three years, while Phelps won the award in 2004, 2007 and 2008.