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Golden Goggles at a Glance: Breakout Performer of the Year

10/2/2013

Each Wednesday until the 2013 Golden Goggle Awards in Los Angeles, USA Swimming will take a closer look at one of the eight awards that will be presented Sunday, Nov. 24. Online fan voting is open through Nov. 15, so be sure to cast your vote.

Today we look at the nominees for the Breakout Performer of the Year, an award given to the athlete whose performance(s) stand out in relation to other years, with special emphasis given to the 2013 FINA World Championships. The nominees are:

Jimmy Feigen
Jimmy Feigen has been on the cusp of making a name for himself as a premier sprinter. While he’s had many solid swims, he still hadn’t reached that breakthrough moment on the international stage. That changed in the 100m free final at the FINA World Championships in Barcelona, Spain. With the world watching, Feigen worked his way through the prelims and semifinals to earn the second-overall seed. In the final, the 2012 Olympian came from behind in the final 50 meters to earn the silver medal with a lifetime best swim of 47.82. This marked the 23-year-old’s second silver medal in Barcelona. On the opening night of competition, Feigen was a member of the 4x100m free relay team that placed second with a time of 3:11.42.

Chase Kalisz
Chase Kalisz burst onto the scene in 2013. After winning the 400y individual medley at the 2013 NCAA Championships and earning five podium finishes in the 2012-13 Arena Grand Prix Series, the 19-year-old went on to win the 400m IM at the Phillips 66 National Championships in Indianapolis. His success continued at the 2013 FINA World Championships, his first major international meet, where he won the silver medal in the same event. Kalisz started slowly, in sixth place through the 200-meter mark, but surged in the breaststroke leg. By the 300m mark, he moved into fourth place. Kalisz would climb two more spots during the freestyle leg to finish with a time of 4:09.22 and the silver medal.

Simone Manuel
At 16, Simone Manuel finished second and third, respectively, in the 50- and 100-meter freestyle at the Phillips 66 National Championships in Indianapolis. With her captivating performances, Manuel earned a spot on the 2013 FINA World Championships, her first major international competition. In Barcelona, Manuel became the first American woman, 18 or under, to swim the 50m free less than 25 seconds. In the preliminaries, her time of 24.93 snapped Kara Lynn Joyce’s 2004 record of 25.00. She then lowered her personal best in the semifinals, posting a time of 24.91. She improved yet again in the final, finishing seventh with a time of 24.80. Manuel also won gold in Barcelona as a member of the women’s 4x100m freestyle relay team.

Michael McBroom
After reaching the finals in a pair of events at Olympic Trials last summer, Michael McBroom made the U.S. World Championships roster after second-place finishes in the 800m and 1500m free at the 2013 Phillips 66 National Championships. At the 2013 FINA World Championships, the results continued for McBroom. The 22-year-old set the only men’s American record in 2013 with a time of 7:43.60 in the 800m free, en route to the silver medal. He also had a fifth-place finish in the 1500m freestyle in Barcelona with a personal best of 14:53.95.