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Michael Phelps wins Golden Goggles, is back in pool

Phelps, 29, of Baltimore stepped away from training in early October after USA Swimming suspended him from competition for six months following a drunken driving arrest Sept. 30 just outside the Fort McHenry Tunnel.

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He's allowed to train with NBAC but cannot compete in a USA Swimming-sanctioned competition until March 6.

Phelps, who came out of a 20-month competitive retirement this year, swam the world's fastest 100-meter butterfly of 2014 at Phillips 66 National Championships in August and won three gold medals at Pan Pacific Championships later that month.

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The Male Athlete of the Year honor was Phelps' fifth.

Olympic gold medalist and world record-holder Katie Ledecky of Bethesda won the Female Athlete of the Year, Female Race of the Year and Relay Performance of the Year.

Ledecky, 17, earned Female Athlete of the Year honors for the second straight year, after posting five world-record swims last summer. She set world records in the 400-meter freestyle and 1,500 free on back-to-back nights at Pan Pacs, and in Australia became the first woman to win four individual gold medals at a single Pan Pacs, as she topped the podium in the 200, 400, 800 and 1,500m free and added gold in the 4x200 free relay. At the national championships, Ledecky won titles in the 200, 400 and 800 free.

"It's really been a spectacular night," Ledecky said.

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Ledecky took home Female Race of the Year accolades for the third straight year, for her world-record swim in the 1,500 free at Pan Pacs, a 15:28.36 performance that bested her previous world record by nearly six seconds.

Ledecky's coach Bruce Gemmell of Potomac and Nation's Capital Swim Club was honored as the Coach of the Year for the second straight year. In 2014, he guided Ledecky and son Andrew Gemmell to a combined six gold medals at Pan Pacs at distances ranging from 200 meters to 10 kilometers.

USA Swimming Golden Goggle Award winners

• Female Athlete of the Year: Katie Ledecky

• Female Race of the Year: Katie Ledecky, 1,500-meter free (Pan Pacific Championships)

• Male Race of the Year: Connor Jaeger, 1,500 free (Pan Pacific Championships)

• Relay Performance of the Year: Women's 4x200 free relay (Pan Pacific Championships: Shannon Vreeland, Missy Franklin, Leah Smith, Katie Ledecky)

• Coach of the Year: Bruce Gemmell

• Breakout Performer of the Year: Maya DiRado

• Perseverance Award: Open Water Gold Medalists – Haley Anderson and Andrew Gemmell

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